Anne Barmettler, MD, an associate professor of ophthalmology, visual sciences, and plastic surgery at Montefiore Medical Center discusses patient feedback on Tepezza (teprotumumab) for thyroid eye disease.
Patients with thyroid eye disease have been very excited about teprotumumab, said Anne Barmettler, MD, an associate professor of ophthalmology, visual sciences, and plastic surgery at Montefiore Medical Center. Barmettler's session "Teprotumumab: A Year After FDA Approval—What We Know and What We Don't Know,” was presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology's 2021 conference.
Could you introduce yourself and explain the work you do?
I'm Anne Barmettler. I am an ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I work full time as an academic associate professor at Montefiore Medical Center. Ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery is ophthalmology that focuses on the eyelid and eye socket. That means when eyelids are turned in or out, or too droopy, or too open, or eyeballs are sticking out too far or there are tumors involved. I pretty much like to do the full gamut; I like to do a lot of functional stuff. The other flip side of that is, there's a cosmetic or aesthetic aspect to this, like lifting someone's eyebrows for a more youthful appearance, and I like to do that as well.
Thyroid eye disease is a rare disease, and effective treatments for rare diseases are uncommon. How has patient feedback been thus far?
Patients have been very excited about teprotumumab, as well as a lot of physicians who take care of thyroid eye disease a little less frequently; that would be internal medicine doctors, endocrinologists, family practice doctors, comprehensive ophthalmologists, who are eye doctors who take care of overall eye issues as opposed to just focusing on oculoplastics. For them, this is something very exciting because it's something that they can offer potentially a treatment.
I think that the excitement is worth it because it is an option to treat thyroid eye disease without having to go through the surgeries, which can be very numerous for some people. As you may well be aware, thyroid eye disease can cause eyes to stick out. They can become crooked, or the eyes can be too open. Each of these surgeries doesn't come without risks. The opportunity to be able to take a medication, even if it is an infusion, to avoid these is very exciting for a lot of people.