The value of managing glaucoma, an interview with Richard Charter, Sr Director Market Access at Glaukos.


The dynamics of healthcare commercialisation have changed.  The strategies we implement here at ValueConnected focus on the perceived benefits, not the features. So, we will always strive to demonstrate the value of all products. 

Our mission is to increase patient and provider access to the best medical technologies. We accomplish this by helping companies demonstrate the value of their products and services to relevant stakeholders. 

We had the chance to sit down with Richard Centurion. Richard is the Senior Director of Market Access at Glaukos, an ophthalmic medical technology and pharmaceutical company focused on novel therapies for the treatment of glaucoma, corneal disorders, and retinal diseases. They strive to transform the treatment of chronic eye diseases with novel therapies. These therapies make sure to provide sustainable solutions to important clinical needs.

Our chat with Richard focused on the need to tailor value messages to meet the needs of stakeholders. In this particular case, our discussion focused on the importance of treating glaucoma. We also had the honor to learn about his past experiences and how his relationship with ValueConnected has helped him achieve many successes. 

Incidence of glaucoma rises with age, putting people at risk of blindness. Reducing the burden of disease, and its impact on quality of life, is vital. Importantly, communicating the value of treatment to key decision-makers can be challenging but consulting the right experts can ease the pressure.


So, our chat began with the basics. 


What is glaucoma? 

“Glaucoma is a common eye disease where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. It’s usually caused by fluid building up at the front part of the eye which increases intraocular pressure. That can lead to loss of vision if not diagnosed and treated correctly. If glaucoma progresses, it can lead to blindness.”

What are the possible glaucoma treatment options?

“The options are medication and our stent. The stent is implanted in the trabecular meshwork and deviates fluid from there into Schlemm’s canal. That reduces the fluids in the eye and, therefore, brings down the intraocular pressure. This, in turn, reduces medication use. For some of our older patients, putting drops in the eye can be very difficult.”


Like we mentioned earlier, we also had the chance to learn more about Richard and his extraordinary curriculum.


Tell us about your background and work at Glaukos.

“I’m a health economist by training. I have taught mathematics at Erasmus University. Worked in Sweden as a reimbursement consultant, and in medical technology companies on cardiology and robotic surgery products. I joined Glaukos in July 2021. 

Given your experience, what are the main challenges in educating payers and policymakers about the value of minimally invasive Glaucoma treatment?

Value is relative and it depends on the stakeholders we are engaging with. We can’t always go with the same message to a patient, a payer, a provider, a policymaker or a physician. It’s important to differentiate our message based on how they perceive value. 

That’s where ValueConnected comes into play. We have a significant amount of evidence. We must find the best way to highlight what matters to each stakeholder, whether that’s safety, efficacy, efficiency or something else. A doctor may be looking at quality and safety; a policymaker or payer wants to know if it’s affordable. We must be prepared up front to address these challenges. “


We of course asked, why did he see ValueConnected as a key partner for this project? How could our organisation help him? 


What prompted you to contact ValueConnected?

“I have worked with ValueConnected for 10 years – in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Brazil – on projects ranging from heart valves to robotic surgery. What I like about their approach is that it goes beyond working on the classic, conservative reimbursement issues. It tries to look at the latest trends in what each stakeholder is looking for. In the past, it was always about clinical issues, then cost-effectiveness models, and now the focus is on value.”

“Are there different perspectives from one country to another?”

“Yes, HTA bodies in Germany look more at quality. NICE in the UK focuses more on cost. In the Nordic countries, it’s about quality of life of patients. Each has different methods to assess the affordability of a product and how it can be introduced to their structures. Some markets have DRG-based payments, some have device-specific reimbursement, others have a global budget. They all need a different approach. The value messages need to be customised to each stakeholder and to consider country requirements. “

How did ValueConnected help you to do this?

“ValueConnected went beyond what we asked of them. They look to the future, including digitalisation of market access tools. Companies used to spend up to six months on a Core Value Dossier. Now, with artificial intelligence, it can be done in half an hour. Quality is still important because we cannot wait months to develop a dossier because competing technologies could arrive at any time. “

Finally, what do you see as the next steps?

“We continue to develop products to improve the quality of life of patients. What ValueConnected can offer is not only focused on the device pathway, but also on the pharmaceutical pathway. This is very important to developing a launch strategy for products that might address both pathways. “


Glaucoma eye treatment
Man drops eye drops into eye to treat glaucoma.

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