Update (October 29, 2018): Systane Complete eye drops are now available in Canada. Because the country allows DTC advertising for OTC drug products, Canadian consumers could see Alcon’s ad for the dry eye treatment featuring Venus Williams.
Originally published on May 22, 2018:
Novartis’ Alcon division has partnered with professional tennis legend Venus Williams to promote Systane Complete eye drops for the treatment of dry eye disease. Alcon hopes that by sharing Williams’ dry eye story they’ll be able to educate others about the common condition.
“I spent years not understanding my dry eye symptoms and going through several different eye drops to find a solution,” said Williams. “Systane Complete is a total game changer for me, and that’s why I’m so passionate about working with Alcon to help others understand their symptoms and find real relief. Systane Complete provides me with long-lasting, fast relief for my dry eye symptoms, allowing me to conquer my day both on and off the court.”
According to Alcon, their new formula for Systane Complete can relieve the symptoms of multiple different types of dry eye disease, including evaporative dry eye, aqueous tear deficient dry eye or mixed dry eye. The drops hydrate the eye’s surface and prevents tear evaporation using what Alcon calls, “intelligent moisture and lipid delivery.” Their nano-droplet technology allows the active ingredient in Systane Complete to spread across the eye’s surface for both fast-acting and long-lasting relief of dry eye symptoms.
Alcon is also working with mountain climber Lisa Thompson, who has been promoting the Systane products since 2017. She’ll be moving to Systane Complete from her current dry eye treatment – Systane Ultra – and featuring her climb of the second-highest mountain in the world, K2, located on the China-Pakistan border.
A website, TV commercial as well as multimedia assets will be part of the Systane Complete campaign.
“We are thrilled to have a powerful and authentic voice like Venus Williams to help drive awareness around an issue that can be debilitating and an inconvenience for millions around the country,” said Sergio Duplan, North America Region President, Alcon. “Systane Complete is another revolutionary advancement from Alcon, helping support our mission to improve lives through eye care. We’re proud to offer an over-the-counter option that delivers real relief from dry eye symptoms.”
Unlike other dry eye disease treatment, such as Allergan’s Restasis and Shire’s Xiidra, Systane Complete will be available as an over-the-counter (OTC) treatment for dry eye sufferers. While the eye drops are currently available online, at select retail locations and at some optometrist and ophthalmologist’s offices, Alcon anticipates that it will be available across the US by June.
With Restasis bringing in about $2 billion in sales in the US each year, the dry eye disease market is booming. However, Allergan could be seeing significant competition as their patents on Restasis start to expire, and Ocugen’s dry eye disease drug candidate is passing clinical trials with flying colours. The rugmaker is already seeing generic competition in Canada where Teva’s copycat version of the blockbuster dry eye drug has just been launched.