Eye-med maker Allergan takes on preventable blindness with nationwide vision-screening push

Blue eye
Allergan's "See America" campaign will include free one-on-one professional eye exams.

Late last year, a report urged health leaders to take action toward ending preventable blindness. And now, Allergan is leading a charge.

Tuesday, the Dublin drugmaker rolled out “See America,” an effort to increase awareness of the diseases that can cause preventable vision loss and to improve access to vision care.

Partnering with volunteer eye health and safety organization Prevent Blindness, Allergan—which markets the glaucoma-fighting treatments Lumigan and Alphagan—will sponsor a series of vision-screening events in various cities. Attendees will receive free one-on-one professional eye exams, follow-up treatment plans and info about the most common vision-affecting diseases.

The new efforts from Allergan, which markets products for vision-damaging diseases including glaucoma, follow a September report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that projected a doubling of preventable blindness and visual impairment by 2050 without a nationwide intervention.

“With an unrivaled eye care portfolio, a national network of medical experts and an unwavering commitment to the future of America's eyesight, Allergan is standing at the forefront to answer NASEM's call,” the company said in a statement.

Allergan isn’t stopping there, though. It’s joining up with “celebrities and influencers”—who it isn’t yet at liberty to name—as well as “renowned medical experts who share our passion of preserving America's vision,” an Allergan spokesperson said in an email interview. And because the company wants to reach people across the country, it’s “looking to engage with them in the places they get their content daily—social media, online, in magazines, newspapers etc.”

More partnerships with “like-minded organizations that support the goals of See America” could be on the way, too. “See America is a first step launched with hope that other industry leaders will join us in making eye health a priority,” the spokesperson said.

“See America” isn’t Allergan’s only recent eyecare marketing push. Last year, summer, the company recruited actress Marisa Tomei as a brand ambassador for Restasis, which is up against new dry eye competition in the form of Shire’s Xiidra.