On World Sight Day, Allergan Launches National Campaign to Raise Awareness of the Toll Glaucoma Takes on Everyday Living
-- Allergan launches interactive website, MyGlaucoma.com, to shed light on the burden of the disease, provide patient and caregiver perspectives and resources to help --
-- New survey in collaboration with Glaucoma Research Foundation reveals people with glaucoma understand the toll of the disease but may not take it as seriously as they should --
DUBLIN, IRELAND — October 10, 2019 – Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), a leading global pharmaceutical company with more than 70 years of heritage in eye care, today announced a national education campaign called My Glaucoma. The campaign is designed to help people understand the burden of living with glaucoma and empower those with the disease and their caregivers to feel comfortable speaking with their doctor about a treatment regimen that fits their lifestyle. The resources available on www.MyGlaucoma.com are supported by a new survey of patients living with glaucoma and eye doctors, conducted in collaboration with Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), that found more than 75 percent of patients worry about vision loss because of the disease, but nearly half consider glaucoma to be only somewhat or not serious. In fact, research published by the American Journal of Ophthalmology suggests that 27 percent of patients with glaucoma are estimated to go blind in one eye over a 10-year period.
“Glaucoma is clearly a national health issue and one that is overlooked in favor of other diseases perceived as more critical. Given the potential for vision loss, it is increasingly important that we highlight the seriousness of glaucoma, the emotional toll it takes on those living with the disease every day and the importance of doctor-patient communication,” said Thomas M. Brunner, President and CEO, Glaucoma Research Foundation. “As we mark this year’s World Sight Day, we are proud to partner with Allergan to magnify this data for the general public and offer resources that help preserve people’s sight.”
“Our perception of glaucoma must change from one that characterizes the disease as ‘part of getting old’ to one that reinforces its severity and the importance of active treatment,” said Ramin Valian, Vice President, Allergan Interventional Glaucoma. “Our interactive website and partnership with the eye care community and Glaucoma Research Foundation is a major step forward in ensuring patients and their caregivers feel comfortable and confident taking greater control of their glaucoma in the doctor’s office and at home.”
As a leader in eye care, Allergan sought to listen to the voices of patients with glaucoma and eye care professionals to put together meaningful resources that everyone living with glaucoma can benefit from. The interactive website www.MyGlaucoma.com offers access to videos that include perspectives from patients living with glaucoma and their caregivers, more information from the survey and patient resources, such as a conversation guide and facts about glaucoma diagnosis and treatment.
“More than 3 million Americans are estimated to be living with glaucoma. As such, it is vital patients keep an open-line of communication with their eye doctors about struggles they may be having with their glaucoma and treatment routine, as well as what they may be experiencing emotionally,” said Sahar Bedrood, M.D., Ph.D., Glaucoma Specialist at Acuity Eye Group and Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology. “A patient should not hold back discussing their challenges, as every piece of information can be important to customize their care and lessen the burden of the disease.”
About the Survey
In an online survey commissioned by Allergan, in collaboration with Glaucoma Research Foundation, of 500 glaucoma patients and 100 eye doctors in the United States, results showed that glaucoma takes a significant emotional toll on people with the disease, as 4 in 5 glaucoma patients admit that they worry about how their lifestyle will change as a result of the disease. Additionally, there is a need for a more proactive two-way dialogue between eye care doctors and patients, especially around treatment, as patients stated current treatment options cause disruption in their lives. Almost 9 in 10 eye doctors wish their patients would take their medication as prescribed. Specifically, 79 percent want their patients to tell them if they’re struggling with it.
Glaucoma is one of the primary causes of irreversible vision loss and blindness. An estimated 70 million people globally are living with glaucoma. This progressive disease is characterized by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Uncontrolled, elevated IOP causes damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision. Reduction of elevated IOP is the only proven way to slow the progression of vision loss associated with glaucoma.
Current treatments to lower IOP include topical medications (eye drops), laser trabeculoplasty, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery and incisional surgery. Eye drop medications are the standard first-line treatment for open-angle glaucoma, the most common form, but low patient adherence to these medications is common – up to 80 percent of patients are not using topical medications as prescribed. Poor adherence to glaucoma medication could result in disease progression and vision loss. According to a study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, up to 59 percent of patients on treatment for glaucoma continue to progress, meaning they experience vision loss and damage to the optic nerve.
About Allergan Eye Care
As a leader in eye care, Allergan has discovered, developed, and delivered some of the most innovative products in the industry for more than 70 years. Allergan has launched over 125 eye care products and invested billions of dollars in new treatments for the most prevalent eye conditions including glaucoma, ocular surface disease, and retinal diseases such as diabetic macular edema and retinal vein occlusion. Our eye care pipeline includes 13 additional agents for multiple ocular conditions.
Our commitment to the well-being of patients is also reflected in social responsibility. Allergan, The Allergan Foundation and The Allergan International Foundation support more than 150 organizations around the world working to improve lives and communities. We remain steadfast in helping eye care providers deliver the best in patient care through innovative products and outreach programs.
About Allergan plc
Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a global pharmaceutical leader focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceutical, device, biologic, surgical and regenerative medicine products for patients around the world. Allergan markets a portfolio of leading brands and best-in-class products primarily focused on four key therapeutic areas including medical aesthetics, eye care, central nervous system and gastroenterology. As part of its approach to delivering innovation for better patient care, Allergan has built one of the broadest pharmaceutical and device research and development pipelines in the industry.
With colleagues and commercial operations located in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives every day.
For more information, visit Allergan's website at www.Allergan.com.
Statements contained in this press release that refer to future events or other non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Allergan’s current perspective on existing trends and information as of the date of this release. Actual results may differ materially from Allergan’s current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Allergan’s business. These factors include, among others, the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of FDA approvals or actions, if any; the impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance of and continued demand for Allergan’s products; the impact of uncertainty around timing of generic entry related to key products, including RESTASIS®, on our financial results; risks associated with divestitures, acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures; risks related to impairments; uncertainty associated with financial projections, projected cost reductions, projected debt reduction, projected synergies, restructurings, increased costs, and adverse tax consequences; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Allergan’s periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Allergan's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and Allergan's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2019. Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Manisha Narasimhan, PhD