IDF and Allergan announce partnership to tackle diabetic eye disease

20 September 2018

Diabetic macular edema (DME) is the leading global cause of blindness among working-aged adults. The partnership aims to develop a global approach to screen, diagnose, and manage DME.

Diabetic eye health is a key concern for IDF and Allergan. The partnership will bring together experts from different geographies and therapeutic specialties to develop the first ever IDF clinical practice recommendations on DME.

IDF President Professor Nam H. Cho said: “Eye complications are a serious threat to people with diabetes. Approximately one in three will develop some form of diabetic eye disease. We must detect and treat diabetic macular edema early. The later it is diagnosed, the greater the chance it will be so far advanced that permanent damage to vision is a real possibility. Primary care physicians and eye-care specialists need high-quality, evidence-based guidelines to help them diagnose the complication early and manage it appropriately so they can prevent vision loss.”

The management of DME is complicated. People with DME are often managed by a number of different healthcare professionals, including ophthalmologists, diabetologists, general practitioners, neurologists, cardiologists, nephrologists and podiatrists. The International Diabetes Federation and Allergan partnership seeks to break down silos and promote meaningful coordination across different disciplines, ultimately helping clinicians to make the best decisions for their patients.

DME is a complication of diabetic retinopathy that, if left untreated, can rapidly lead to profound vision loss.1 DME currently affects around 26.7 million people globally,2 and ageing populations and rising obesity rates mean that type 2 diabetes - and therefore the likelihood of developing DME - is set to become an even greater public health problem, with IDF projecting that over 520 million people will be affected by diabetes by 2025.

“We are proud to be partnering with IDF; who have been leading the fight against diabetes across the world since 1950. Allergan is committed to helping people with diabetic eye disease and, with the support of IDF and its global expertise in diabetes care, believe we can make a truly positive impact on the lives of the growing numbers facing this complication,” said Anna Gallifant, Associate Vice President and Head of International Strategic Marketing, Eyecare, Allergan. “By unifying efforts, Allergan and IDF will address the complex issues surrounding the management of diabetic macular edema and help bridge the gap between diabetologists and ophthalmologists.”

Read more about diabetes and eye health.


1. Zheng Y, He M, Congdon N. The worldwide epidemic of diabetic retinopathy. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2012. 60(5);428-431.
2. Sivaprasad S et al. The impact of injection therapy on retinal patients with DME or RVO. Clin Ophthalmol. 2016. 10;939-946
3. Rübsam A, Parikh S et al. Role of inflammation in diabetic retinopathy. Int J Mol Sci. 2018. 22;19(4)

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