World Sight Day is observed worldwide every year on the second Thursday of October. This World Health Organization-designated day falls on 13 October this year. The purpose of World Sight Day is to increase public awareness about blindness, vision impairment, vision care, and ocular issues. The WHO estimates that 1 billion people worldwide suffer from near or distant vision impairment due to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Although it can affect individuals of any age group, those over 50 years of age are more likely to experience it. Blindness or vision impairment can limit a person’s everyday life, prospects for employment and other aspects of their personal lives, including their ability to travel.
ASBM is quoted in a press release about World Sight Day from our partner the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) which is leading an educational campaign regarding the arrival of ophthalmic biosimilars in Canada:
In advance of World Sight Day on October 13th, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) in partnership with national and global organizations wants to drive action for eye care, to improve the situation for those impacted by vision loss and blindness, now, and in the future. While global agencies support initiatives to improve, restore, and maintain vision for people around the world, many Canadians need to prepare for policy changes about their eye treatment that have the potential to impact patient and physician autonomy.
“The Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines (ASBM) supports the introduction of biosimilars as an important tool for offering patients new therapeutic options and reducing healthcare costs. The tremendous success of biosimilars in European markets has shown that countries need not sacrifice physician and patient’s choice to enjoy substantial savings. This is accomplished through competition between many reimbursed products, rather than forced switches. Physicians and patients in Canada deserve no less – yet they are increasingly seeing their choice restricted rather than expanded. With the arrival of ophthalmic biosimilars, we must heed the concerns of these physicians and their patients regarding unnecessary switching, so that we do not risk long-term harm to patients for short-term savings” states Michael Reilly, Executive Director, ASBM.