Bausch + Lomb and Walgreens Collaborate on New SightSense Eye Health Awareness Program

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. AND DEERFIELD, Ill. — Bausch + Lomb, the global eye health company, and Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG), the largest U.S. drugstore chain, have announced a new SightSense online and in-store patient education program—an initiative to heighten eye health awareness and encourage consumers to take proactive steps to protect and preserve their sight, a joint statement said.

“Bausch + Lomb is excited to work with Walgreens to put eye health information within easy reach of consumers, which we hope will motivate more people to take better care of their eyes,” said Bausch + Lomb executive vice president and chief medical officer, Calvin Roberts, M.D. “We know that more than 80 percent of visual impairment is preventable, which makes it that much more important to elevate eye health awareness among consumers. Through the SightSense program we have an opportunity to do just that, and ultimately help people preserve and protect their most treasured sense, as well as improve their overall health.”

The SightSense program features a special eye health section on Walgreens.com that provides tools, information and resources to help consumers become informed and proactive in their eye health, including a PSA-like video that illustrates the connection between eye health and overall wellness, as well as an eye health assessment test to screen for common problems. The website also provides an eyecare professional locator for consumers to find an eye doctor near them, as well as a list of upcoming in-store events.

Also, the company said SightSense in-store events will be held in approximately 10 cities across the country in 2013, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. The events will feature educational forums led by eye health professionals as well as eye screenings for common problems. Additionally, informative brochures on eye health will be available at all Walgreens stores nationwide beginning in July 2013.

Collectively, "Walgreens and Bausch + Lomb have been focused on improving consumer health for more than 270 years,” said Robert London, MD, Walgreens national medical director. “By raising awareness of eye health as an integral part of a consumer's overall preventive care plan, we further enrich the wellness experience available to and accessible for our customers."

Through both the online and in-store components of the SightSense program, consumers will be encouraged to get regular eye exams from their local eyecare professionals.

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens vision is "to become America’s first choice for health and daily living." Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers multichannel access to consumer goods and services as well as cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America.

The company operates 8,071 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary, a comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.