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$14B Needed to Eliminate Uncorrected Poor Vision Worldwide, Essilor Finds

It’s ‘the world’s most widespread disability.’

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Essilor International, subsidiary of EssilorLuxottica, has published a report defining the global scale of uncorrected poor vision and outlining solutions to eliminate it within a generation.

According to the report, a total investment of $14 billion over the next 30 years is required to eliminate uncorrected poor vision by 2050.

Uncorrected poor vision is the world’s most widespread disability, affecting 2.7 billion people, 90 percent of whom “live at the economic base of the pyramid,” Essilor stated in a press release. It costs the global economy $272 billion in lost productivity each year.

By 2050, uncorrected poor vision is predicted to reach epidemic proportions, with over 50 percent of the world’s population expected to suffer from myopia, many with serious vision-threatening side effects and drastic long-term implications, according to Essilor.

Essilor report is called “Eliminating poor vision in a Generation: What will it take to eliminate uncorrected refractive errors by 2050?” and uses analytical support provided by McKinsey. Its findings suggest that uncorrected poor vision can be eliminated by 2050 through an investment of $14 billion over the next 30 years, dedicated to creating sustainable access points to eyecare, innovating for affordable solutions, funding subsidized and free services and raising awareness.

Hubert Sagnières, executive vice chairman of EssilorLuxottica and chairman of Essilor International, said:

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“As the world leader in ophthalmic optics, and a firm believer in business as a force for good, our ambition is to eliminate poor vision within one generation. While there have been many successful initiatives by both public and private actors in recent years, there is clearly a need to do more to bring good vision to everyone. At the same time, there is simply no blueprint to achieve our ambition. This report will provide the necessary guidance while engaging the different stakeholders towards one goal. It illustrates our endeavor to take our efforts further by investigating this vision crisis and uncovering how to solve it. Governments, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral organizations, donors, eye care professionals and the private sector all have a role to play as we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to end a public health crisis.”

Using the key findings of the report as a starting point, Essilor hosted a panel discussion, in partnership with the social enterprise and media platform Devex, on the sidelines of 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The discussions examined how public and private stakeholders can jointly overcome the obstacles to meeting the 2050 target of universal vision.

The event, held on Sept. 24, brought together representatives from non-governmental organizations, health communities, multilateral agencies and international bodies.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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LASIK Should Be Banned, Says FDA Adviser

He regrets voting to approve the treatment.

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A retired U.S. Food and Drug Administration adviser says LASIK eye surgery should be removed from the market.

Morris Waxler voted to approve to treatment, but now wishes he hadn’t, CBS News reports. He has re-examined the data.

“Essentially we ignored the data on vision distortions that persisted for years,” he told CBS.

His analysis suggests that 10 percent to 30 percent of patients experience complications. He asked the FDA in 2011 to issue a voluntary recall of the treatment, but the FDA declined to do so.

The FDA recently told CBS that it “has not found any new safety concerns associated with LASIK devices.”

CBS News quoted several patients saying they’d been harmed by LASIK.

Abraham Rutner, for example, said that he had double vision and that “around the lights [was] like having starbursts.” He notes, however, that his vision is improved by approximately 90 percent.

Experts say pre-surgical screening is crucial to avoiding LASIK complications.

The key lies in “knowing who to operate on and who not to operate on and there are people who really should not have this procedure,” Dr. Jules Winokur told CBS News.

The FDA has issued an advisory on risks and how to find find the right doctor for LASIK.

Read more at CBS News

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Video: Adorable Cat Melts Hearts By Trying on Eyewear for Children

Kids see that ‘if she can wear hers, they can wear them too.’

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A rescue cat in Pennsylvania is getting attention for her role in making children feel comfortable with their eyeglasses.

Truffles happily wears brightly colored frames to set a good example for the young patients of A Child’s Eyes in Mechanicsburg, the Daily Mail reports.

“If a child is feeling a bit nervous I ask Truffles if she wants to show them her glasses,” says Danielle Crull, owner of the business. “When they see Truffles wearing them it’s a really good thing and shows that if she can wear hers, they can wear them too.”

A video of the cat trying on eyewear has been viewed millions of times.

Watch the video:

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Several Eyecare Drugs in Short Supply, FDA Says

They include staple items.

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Thirteen ophthalmic drugs or products are currently in a state of shortage, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

They include solutions, ointments, emulsions, suspensions and injections, the American Optometric Association reports. Another four ophthalmic products were recently discontinued altogether.

The FDA claims in a new report that older, lower-cost drugs face supply troubles far more often than brand-name options, AOA reports. Among the ophthalmic drugs or products in shortage are staple items such as fluorescein strips and solutionsdilation dropsglaucoma medicationsantibiotics and antivirals.

According to AOA:

Published Oct. 29 by an FDA-convened inter-agency Drug Shortages Task Force, the report, “Drug Shortages: Root Causes and Potential Solutions,” analyzed 163 drugs that went into shortage from 2013 to 2017 and found the majority were “financially unattractive drugs” for manufacturers. Of the 163 drugs, 109 (67%) had generic versions on the market and had a median time since first approval of nearly 35 years. So many years off patent, these drugs sold for a median per unit price of only $8.73, the FDA notes.

AOA Chief Public Health Officer Michael Duenas, OD, said, “A doctor of optometry, in their public health role, should monitor services and needed supplies to determine that they are useful and accessible to all individuals within their community who may need that particular service or supply. Doctors of optometry are encouraged to report deficiencies to the AOA and agencies overseeing shortages, such as FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Drug Shortage Program at drugshortages@fda.hhs.gov.”

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