The first rho kinase inhibitor for glaucoma, Rhopressa (netarsudil 0.02%), is now available in the US, manufacturer Aerie Pharmaceuticals said today. Announced last year following its FDA approval, Rhopressa works directly on the trabecular meshwork to increase aqueous outflow by increasing contraction of smooth muscle–like cells and increasing perfusion through the meshwork; it also has the potential to decrease aqueous production and to reduce resistance to aqueous outflow through episcleral venous channels.

Aerie has a sales force currently detailing eye care practitioners and is working on securing formulary contracts for commercial insurance coverage in 2018 and Medicare Part D program coverage beginning in 2019, the company says. In addition, a co-pay savings card program gives patients covered by commercial insurance immediate access to the drug.