Allergan has its eye on social media with #EyePic campaign
- Allergan is keeping its eye on social media with its #EyePic awareness campaign, part of its See America U.S. initiative to fight preventable blindness and visual impairment.
- The aim, through celebrity endorsement and hashtagged eye pictures, is to raise awareness of preventable eye disease, and to raise up to $50,000 for the American Foundation for the Blind.
- Allergan's eye care portfolio was worth $553.1 million in the U.S. and $299.5 million in the rest of the world in the first three months of 2017.
The campaign asks people to post up a picture of their eyes on social media with the hashtag #EyePic, and tag two friends to do the same. For each picture posted, Allergan's See America initiative will donate $10 to the American Foundation for the Blind, up to a maximum of $50,000.
Like many big pharma, Allergan is fighting the threat of generics, with one of the most dramatic impacts being the loss of protection for its Alzheimer's disease Namenda (memantine). Its chronic dry eye disease treatment Restastis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion), runs the risk of going the same way, and so the company is working hard to prop up its ocular franchise.
Allergan has been adding to its eyecare portfolio through acquisitions —in the past few years, it has picked up Oculeve, ForSight VISION5 and RetroSense Therapeutics.
One approach is to fight off the generic competition, another is to set up collaborations on cutting edge research such as CRISPR gene-editing technology, and a third is to boost sales of existing drugs through awareness campaigns such as this one, which is designed to "broaden awareness of preventable blindness, promote discussion around eye health and ultimately encourage all Americans to visit their eye doctors for comprehensive eye exams."
"We’re launching #EyePic on social media to spread the word about preventable blindness, in a forum where people can easily join the fight. With the help of Milo Ventimiglia, Victor Cruz, Alexandra Daddario and the many Americans who will be posting their own #EyePic, we will encourage proactive eye care and communicate important facts about preventable blindness in America," said Jag Dosanjh, SVP of U.S. Eye Care at Allergan.
Allergan has used tactics like this before. In March, it launched its #Eyepowerment campaign, also asking people to take selfies to post to social media in an effort to raise awareness about dry eye.
- Allergan Statement
Follow Suzanne Elvidge on Twitter