DUBLIN — Allergan on Tuesday announced the launch of its new initiative aimed at fighting preventable blindness, See America. The campaign is working to make vision health a priority for Americans while increasing awareness of diseases that can cause preventable blindness and helping improve access to vision care for those who need it.
The initiative comes after a September 2016 report that found some 61 million Americans currently at risk to go blind or experience severe vision impairment. The report called for action to defeat preventable blindness by 2030, a call that Allergan is working to answer by partnering with volunteer eye health and safety organization Prevent Blindness.
“Vision loss from diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy is affecting and destroying the lives of too many—with cases of preventable blindness increasing at such a frightening rate,” Allergan SVP eye care Herm Cukier said. “We are launching See America to stress the importance of eye health. The time to act is now.”
See America also launches as retail pharmacy chains are looking into eye health as a potential offering, with Walgreens in January opening pilot vision care center in its Chicago flagship store. And at last summer’s Retail Health Summit in Bentonville, Ark., Bausch + Lomb’s John Ferris pointed to such retailers with vision care centers, as Walmart as able to play a big role in preventive eye health.
Allergan will sponsor vision-screening events in various cities to offer free professional eye exams, follow-up treatment plans and education about common diseases affecting vision. The company has also said it will look to partner with like-minded organizations on See America efforts.
“As an ophthalmologist, I’ve seen the endless ways in which vision loss burdens my patients’ lives,” states Yeu.“In certain cases, their vision loss could have been prevented if they had sought out treatment sooner. I’m so happy to be a part of this initiative to shine a spotlight on the problem and rally the support we need to effect change.”