The American Glaucoma Society recently sought to identify 100 articles with significant impact on the clinical care of patients with glaucoma. This was based upon citation frequency and the input of members of the Society. The results of this activity was recently published by Drs. Vinod, Gedde and Ramulu in Ophthalmology Glaucoma. One of Dr. Novack’s papers on a new class of topical ocular hypotensive agents was selected (Serle JB et al. Two Phase 3 Clinical Trials Comparing the Safety and Efficacy of Netarsudil to Timolol in Patients With Elevated Intraocular Pressure: Rho Kinase Elevated IOP Treatment Trial 1 and 2 (ROCKET-1 and ROCKET-2). Am J Ophthalmol. 2018;186:116-27).
The American Academy of Ophthalmology reported (June 2021) a shortage of bevacizumab as used off-label, aliquoted, for ophthalmic indications in the U.S. The issue surrounding off-label and compounding pharmacy use, particularly with this class of products, were discussed in a recent editorial by Dr. Novack and UC Davis colleague, Ala Moshiri MD, Ph.D. in an article in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. Such use is at risk for many reasons – including availability.
Together with UC Davis Ophthalmology faculty member, Ala Moshiri, M.D., Ph.D., I published a commentary in the American Journal of Ophthalmology regarding the challenges to making off-label use of products a standard of care in retina therapies in ophthalmology. This continues a theme from a previous paper regarding this issue with antibiotics in cataract surgery. While off-label use and compounding medications on a patient by patient basis is supported by U.S. code, a more general policy for standard of care creates a narrow ledge for patients and physicians.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recently updated its Glaucoma Practice Pattern. In this document, also published in the AAO’s Journal Ophthalmology, the Committee, headed by Steven J. Gedde, M.D., glaucoma is defined as a chronic, progressive optic neuropathy. The document then further describes the best practices for diagnosis, follow-up and therapy. Dr. Novack’s work on the issues of treatment adherence (patients taking their medication as prescribed) and performance (challenges to patients to properly use eyedrops). His work on novel therapeutics drugs and devices is also cited.
Gary Novack was honored by the UC Santa Cruz Foundation, an organization of which he is a past president. Together with past Executive Director Ann McCrow and past president Gordon Ringold, ten year ago he helped to execute the Board Opportunity Fund. This fund provides seed funds to initiate or support short-term campus projects through the Board Opportunity Fund (BOF), established in January 2008. The Foundation accepts proposals that allow faculty and staff to take advantage of unique opportunities to support a strategic project aligned with academic priorities. This may be an incentive for further fundraising or a vehicle for raising awareness and visibility for UC Santa Cruz. In the ten year, over 60 projects and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been invested. Many of the recipients have gone on to leverage this investment into 5- and 6-figure subsequent grants, providing support for faculty, students and staff. In particular, Dr. Novack was involved in several astronomy and astrophysics projects.