FDA-approved eye drops could replace reading glasses for many

FDA-approved eye drops could replace reading glasses for many

By Nancy Clanton, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren for CNT #Health

Drops treat age-related blurry near vision, which affects about half of U.S. adults

Tired of misplacing your reading glasses? A new eye drop might enable you to put them in a drawer and forget about them.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Vuity in October, and the drops hit the market Thursday.

Vuity treats presbyopia, or age-related blurry near vision, which is a common, progressive condition that reduces the eye’s ability to focus on close objects and affects nearly half of the U.S. adult population, usually over age 40.

“We are pleased to be able to bring this first-of-its-kind treatment to market sooner than expected for the millions of Americans with presbyopia who may benefit from it,” Jag Dosanjh, senior vice president medical therapeutics, Allergan, an AbbVie company, said in a press release.

“Many Americans deal with presbyopia, which typically begins around age 40, by relying on reading glasses or resorting to work-arounds like zooming in on their digital devices to see up close. As an optometrist who also has presbyopia, I’m personally and professionally excited to try Vuity for myself, as well as offer it to my patients with age-related blurry near vision,” said optometrist Dr. Selina McGee, Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.

One clinical trial participant, Toni Wright, said her vision had changed as she’d aged and she realized she needed readers.

“It was great to have the opportunity to participate in the clinical study investigating a new potential treatment option,” she said. “I’m so excited the investigational treatment, which has been identified as Vuity, is now approved and available as a treatment to manage age-related blurry near vision.”

The once-daily treatment is the FDA-approved eye drop for presbyopia, but it isn’t a cure. Abbvie cautioned against driving at night, users might have temporary difficulty adjusting focus between objects near and far.

The drops are for mild to intermediate cases and are less effective after age 65, AbbVie added.

A 30-day supply will cost about $80, a Vuity spokesperson told CBS News, and isn’t covered by insurance. Doctors who spoke with CBS News said it’s unlikely insurance will ever cover the drug because it’s not “medically necessary,” considering glasses are still a less expensive alternative.

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By Troy Warren

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