Today, Thursday 13th October 2016, marks World Sight Day - an annual, global initiative which aims to raise awareness of blindness and vision impairment. At Novartis UK, we are committed to helping people with eye disease see better, feel better and live better.
In the UK, one in five people aged 75 or over are living with sight loss, which increases to one in two for those aged 90 and above. We are proud to have developed medicines which have contributed to the significant reduction in the number of blindness registrations, as a result of wet age-related macular degeneration. However, with an ageing population there is more to be done to further reduce avoidable sight loss in the UK.
Novartis is passionate about discovering new ways to support people affected by eye conditions and our product portfolio provides treatment for both the front and back of the eye. We have a longstanding heritage in ophthalmology and have been working to help people with conditions such as retinal vein occlusion and (wet) age-related macular degeneration for many years. As an organisation, we continue to invest and lead in ophthalmic medical research by performing 20% of all UK industry-sponsored trials in the disease area.
This year, the theme of World Sight Day is ‘Stronger Together’ and at Novartis UK we are proud to be working with the NHS on a number of joint working projects as part of our ongoing commitment to understand and address the challenges facing eye care services across the UK and improve patient outcomes.
You can support World Sight Day by joining social conversation on Twitter; use the hashtags #wsd2016 or #strongertogether.