• Vuity was approved by the U.S. FDA last October
  • It is "specifically designed" to treat presbyopia
  • A 30-day supply of Vuity costs around $80

A prescription eye drop that can potentially replace the reading glasses of millions of Americans has hit the shelves this week. It is said to be the "first and only eye drop" that's approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat presbyopia.

Presbyopia is an age-related condition in which the eyes gradually lose the ability to focus on nearby objects. It typically becomes noticeable when people reach their early 40s and worsens until the age of 65. The condition affects around 128 million Americans or about half of the adult U.S. population. It's also why many of these adults have to wear reading glasses or contact lenses.

The FDA approved Vuity, a daily description eye drop "specifically designed" to treat presbyopia in October. The product is finally out this week and is available by prescription in pharmacies nationwide.

The eye drop could potentially help improve the lives of the millions of Americans dealing with presbyopia. Based on Phase 3 GEMINI 1 and GEMINI 2 clinical studies on the product, which involved 750 people aged 40 to 55, Vuity can work to improve near and intermediate vision in as fast as 15 minutes and last for up to six hours. There were also no "serious adverse events" in any of the participants of both clinical trials.

"We are pleased to be able to bring this first-of-its-kind treatment to market sooner than expected for the millions of Americans with presbyopia who may benefit from it," Jag Dosanjh, senior vice president for medical therapeutics at Allergan, an AbbVie company, said in a statement.

"This significant innovation in age-related eye health reflects our commitment to advance vision care and expands our leading portfolio of treatments for eye care providers and their patients."

A 30-day supply of Vuity is expected to cost around $80, CBS News reported, adding that the drug is so far not covered by insurance.

The new drug is not a "cure-all" product, the outlet clarified. Moreover, the company has some important safety reminders for those who will use Vuity, such as not using the product if they are allergic to any of its ingredients, preventing the dropper tip from touching any surface as this may cause contamination, applying the product at least five minutes apart from any topical eye medication and being cautious when driving at night or when doing "hazardous activities in poor lighting."

That said, it can be a more convenient option as opposed to wearing glasses all the time.

"As an optometrist who also has presbyopia, I'm personally and professionally excited to try Vuity for myself, as well as offer it to my patients with age-related blurry near vision," Dr. Selina McGee, a fellow at the American Academy of Optometry, said. "With Vuity now available, it is a good time for those who experience age-related blurry near vision to visit their eye doctor for an exam and to discuss their options to manage this common condition."

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Representation. Pixabay