Our Vision for Fighting Preventable Blindness

Eye care physician checking patients eyes
Blog Brent L. Saunders

Macular degeneration. Glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy. These are among the diseases that are causing 61 million Americans – more than the populations of California and Florida combined – to be at risk for severe vision loss and blindness[1]. The need to confront preventable blindness is critical.

Experts predict that cases of blindness and significant visual impairment will double by 2050[2] resulting in one American experiencing partial or complete loss of sight every four minutes. And at a cost of $139 billion in 2013, eye disorders and vision loss are among the costliest health conditions currently facing the United States[3].

In September 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) issued a national call-to-action for widespread collaboration to end preventable blindness in America by 2030.

At Allergan we are committed to protecting and preserving America’s sight, so this is our five-part response to the NASEM call-to-action.

  • First, we will take care of our own by making available to all 16,000 Allergan employees free comprehensive eye exams.
  • Second, yesterday we introduced See America, a program aimed to fight against preventable blindness in America. Our goal is to see an America where everyone has access to vision care regardless of circumstance, and where preventable blindness is just that—prevented.
    • Through SeeAmerica, we are partnering with nonprofit patient and professional groups as well as vision experts to harness the nation’s eye care research and treatment community to improve awareness, access and treatment of eye disease.
    • Together with our partners, we will:
      • Cultivate mass awareness and education about the importance of vision health and encourage Americans to prioritize their vision.
      • Build bridges with organizations nationwide to help underserved communities and push for public policies that will make access to eye care easier for all Americans.
      • Launch vision health events to communities in need.
      • Support continued advances in developing innovative treatments for those who need it most.
  • Third, Allergan will continue to be one of the largest investors in the development of new eye care treatments to address the challenge of preventable vision loss, like glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.
  • Fourth, we are committed to making our treatments affordable and accessible to patients at risk of vision loss because we know that developing new treatments is only half the battle. With our enhanced patient assistance program, patients up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level may qualify for help paying for their Allergan eye medicines.
  • Fifth, The Allergan Foundation, will continue to donate more than $1.5 million annually to eye care related patient and community groups and training programs in Ophthalmology and Optometry.

This is our response but we know that more can be done. How will you respond to the NASEM call-to-action to end preventable blindness in America by 2030?

You can join the fight against preventable blindness by booking a comprehensive eye exam.

You can also visit www.SeeAmerica.vision and take the pledge to fight preventable blindness.

We can do this together.


[1] CDC - Vision Health Initiative – National Data
[2] NIH, News Release May 19, 2016, “Visual impairment, blindness cases in U.S. expected to double by 2050.”
[3] Prevent Blindness Organization, “Cost of Vision Problems”