Press release

American Diabetes Association® Welcomes Regeneron to Initiative to Help Prevent Vision Loss in People with Diabetes

May 6, 2020 | Arlington, Virginia

Multi-year public health campaign will raise awareness of the need for understanding and early detection of diabetes-related eye disease

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) today announced Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has joined VSP® Vision Care as a Visionary Partner to focus on an often overlooked but costly and devastating complication of diabetes: vision loss. This eye health initiative, “Focus on Diabetes,” will highlight the crucial role annual comprehensive eye exams play in the early detection, intervention and possible prevention of eye disease and vision loss caused by diabetes.

Of the more than 34 million American adults living with diabetes, few know of the increased risk for eye disease, including diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts. In fact, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults. 

“Diabetic eye disease is one of the complications of diabetes, affecting a third or more of people with diabetes over age 40,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the American Diabetes Association. “Fortunately, we can effectively manage and even prevent diabetic eye disease with early detection and treatment. Alongside dedicated partners like Regeneron and VSP, we are positioned to make this happen. Preventing these complications is key!”

With millions of Americans undiagnosed with diabetes, or living with prediabetes, the cost of diabetes to individuals and society continues to skyrocket. It is estimated that the economic burden on the healthcare system in the United States is $139 billion for vision related disorders alone. For those living with diabetes, an annual eye exam with an eye care professional can help prevent or delay disease and vision loss caused by diabetes. 

The “Focus on Diabetes” eye health initiative is a multi-pronged effort to:

  • Raise awareness and provide resources for those who may be at risk for a diabetes-related eye disease;
  • Provide patient support and education to those affected by it; and
  • Educate healthcare professionals about diabetes-related eye disease and how to prevent it.

“Millions of Americans with diabetes are at risk of losing their vision and, tragically, few know or understand the risk,” said Johnathan Lancaster, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs at Regeneron. “At Regeneron, we’re dedicated to helping people maintain their vision, including those with diabetes. This initiative led by the American Diabetes Association allows us to further support this patient population and spread awareness to not only those living with diabetic eye disease, but their caregivers and healthcare providers as well.”

The “Focus on Diabetes” eye health initiative will be launching in May 2020 as part of the ADA’s Overcoming Therapeutic Inertia campaign to accelerate care, treatment and early intervention to improve the lives of people living with and those caring for people with diabetes. Additional campaign resources and updates will be released in the coming weeks.

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About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. More than 122 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For nearly 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).

About Regeneron 
Regeneron is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for over 30 years by physician-scientists, the company’s unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to seven FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, all of which were homegrown in Regeneron laboratories. The company’s medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, infectious diseases and rare diseases.

About VSP Global
VSP Global is a doctor-governed company that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors. Our industry-leading businesses include VSP® Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, which provides access to eye care for nearly 90 million members through a network of over 40,000 doctors worldwide; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of high-quality eyewear and sunwear; VSP Optics, industry leaders in ophthalmic technology and lab services, providing custom lens solutions for the vision and lifestyle needs of patients; Eyefinity®, the industry leader in practice management and electronic health record software; VSP Retail, which focuses on increasing access to eye care and eyewear through multiple channels, and VSP® Ventures, which offers care-focused, customized choices for doctors looking to transition their practice.

For Media Inquiries: 
Regeneron – Joseph Ricculli,, 914-418-0405
American Diabetes Association – Daisy Diaz,, 703-253-4807