Shire launches screen responsibly, an eyelove® initiative dedicated to prioritizing eye health in a screen-saturated world

Shire launches screen responsibly, an eyelove® initiative dedicated to prioritizing eye health in a screen-saturated world

June 6, 2018
  • New national Shire-sponsored survey data reveal nearly one in three adults with self-reported Chronic Dry Eye or Dry Eye symptoms said they use screens for ten or more hours a day and 57 percent agreed that “nothing gets in the way of my time using screens”
  • Eyelove presents screen responsibly, an initiative in partnership with Thrive Global, dedicated to promoting awareness of the effects of screen use on eye health and responsible screen use habits

Lexington, Mass. – Wednesday, June 6, 2018 – Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG) announced the launch of screen responsibly, its new educational initiative about the intersection between our screen use and eye health. This initiative is underscored by new national Shire-sponsored survey data and as part of it, a partnership with Thrive Global, a behavior-change media and technology company, to increase our dialogue about how to love our screens and our eyes. Screen responsibly is an extension of Shire’s eyelove campaign, which launched in 2016 to elevate the importance of eye health and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of Chronic Dry Eye, commonly referred to as Dry Eye.

“Our relationship with technology is one of the most important conversations of our time,” said Arianna Huffington, founder & CEO of Thrive Global and one of the voices for screen responsibly. “And that includes giving attention to how screens are affecting our first line of defense: our eyes. That’s why Thrive has joined forces with eyelove, to help people learn how to screen responsibly, while still enjoying all the benefits of technology."

New results from the screen responsibly survey of 1,001 adults with self-reported Dry Eye or Dry Eye symptoms and 1,000 ophthalmologists and optometrists revealed unique insights into the relationship between people with Dry Eye symptoms and screens, including:

  • Adults were more comfortable discussing how much they weigh (41%), the amount of junk food they eat (44%), the time they spend online shopping (51%) or how much they drink on the weekends (55%) than share their screen usage.
  • Adults agreed they cannot pursue their life passions without screens (70%).
  • Nearly two-thirds of surveyed eye care professionals reported a rise in eye-related issues that they attribute to screen usage.

While adults said that caring for their eyes and vision is extremely important, less than half reported using screens responsibly most of the time. With intense screening being a trigger for Dry Eye symptoms1, Shire is hoping to help consumers adopt more responsible screen habits. To screen responsibly involves screen.blink.listen: keep watching your screens, but also watch out for your eyes; remember to follow tips like blink breaks as part of a healthy screen routine; and hear what your eyes are telling you and chat with your eye doctor about bothersome symptoms.

"Dry Eye patients often say that their Dry Eye symptoms are worse after prolonged screen use, and they struggle with recognizing how much time they really spend on screens,” said Kelly Nichols, O.D., MPH, Ph.D., FAAO, Dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. “Ninety percent of adults in the survey reported their screen use as ‘unavoidable’ even though there’s an impact on their eyes, demonstrating the importance of sharing tips and resources that help patients prioritize both their screens and their eye health.”

New resources and custom content are available on that show how people can live a screen-healthy lifestyle. A screen personality quiz is also available on the site that will guide users to content tailored to their unique screening style, along with information on Dry Eye and tips on how to best chat with your eye doctor.

“I wasn’t surprised to see that three out of four surveyed eye doctors said they are currently diagnosing more patients with Dry Eye compared to five years ago, and that 88 percent believe the increase of Dry Eye symptoms can be attributed to smartphone use,” said Edward Holland, MD, University of Cincinnati and Director, Cornea Service, Cincinnati Eye Institute. “I have seen the effect of increasing screen-dependency on my patients’ eye health and it is time, more than ever, for them to become more aware of their screen habits, and when it may be time for a break.”

About the screen responsibly Survey
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Edelman Intelligence on behalf of Shire between November 14, 2017 and December 3, 2017. The consumer arm of the survey included a total of 1,001 U.S. adults ages 18+ with self-reported Dry Eye symptoms or diagnosed Dry Eye, and the professional arm of the survey included 1,000 eye care professionals in the U.S. who are optometrists (n=500) or ophthalmologists (n = 500) (ECPs). For complete research method, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Lauren Gallagher, Vice President, Edelman at [email protected].

About Dry Eye
In the United States, nearly 30 million adults report symptoms consistent with Dry Eye.2,3,4,5 Reported signs and symptoms include a burning, itchy, stinging or gritty feeling in the eyes, episodes of blurred vision, eye redness and watery eyes.1,6

If you experience episodes of blurry vision, burning, stinging, dry feeling eyes or a gritty feeling as if there could be something in your eye, you could be one of millions of Americans dealing with Dry Eye.1,6 Dry Eye symptoms can interrupt everyday activities like using a computer, driving at night, reading, and spending time outside in bright light and cold or windy conditions.1,2 Potential factors that can increase your chance for, or worsen, Dry Eye include aging, prolonged screen time, contact lens wear, LASIK or cataract removal surgery and taking certain medications like antihistamines.1,2 It is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing Dry Eye symptoms.

For further information please contact:

Investor Relations  
Sun Kim[email protected]617-588-8175
Lauren Starr[email protected]+41-41-288-4443
Lauren Gallagher[email protected]347-634-0571


About Shire

Shire is the global biotechnology leader serving patients with rare diseases and specialized conditions. We seek to push boundaries through discovering and delivering new possibilities for patient communities who often have few or no other champions. Relentlessly on the edge of what’s next, we are serial innovators with a diverse pipeline offering fresh thinking and new hope. Serving patients and partnering with healthcare communities in over 100 countries, we strive to be part of the entire patient journey to enable earlier diagnosis, raise standards of care, accelerate access to treatment, and support patients. Our Rare Disease and Neuroscience divisions support our diverse portfolio of therapeutic areas, including Immunology, Hematology, Genetic Diseases, Internal Medicine, Ophthalmics, Oncology, and neuropsychiatry disorders.

Championing patients is our call to action - it brings the opportunity - and responsibility - to change people’s lives.

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Statements included herein that are not historical facts, including without limitation statements concerning future strategy, plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, projected revenues, the anticipated timing of clinical trials and approvals for, and the commercial potential of, inline or pipeline products, are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time. In the event such risks or uncertainties materialize, Shire’s results could be materially adversely affected. The risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Shire’s products may not be a commercial success;
  • increased pricing pressures and limits on patient access as a result of governmental regulations and market developments may affect Shire’s future revenues, financial condition and results of operations;
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  • the actions of certain customers could affect Shire’s ability to sell or market products profitably. Fluctuations in buying or distribution patterns by such customers can adversely affect Shire’s revenues, financial conditions or results of operations;
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  • Shire’s patented products are subject to significant competition from generics;
  • adverse outcomes in legal matters, tax audits and other disputes, including Shire’s ability to enforce and defend patents and other intellectual property rights required for its business, could have a material adverse effect on the Shire’s revenues, financial condition or results of operations;
  • Shire may fail to obtain, maintain, enforce or defend the intellectual property rights required to conduct its business;
  • Shire faces intense competition for highly qualified personnel from other companies and organizations;
  • failure to successfully execute or attain strategic objectives from Shire’s acquisitions and growth strategy may adversely affect the Shire’s financial condition and results of operations;
  • Shire’s growth strategy depends in part upon its ability to expand its product portfolio through external collaborations, which, if unsuccessful, may adversely affect the development and sale of its products;
  • a slowdown of global economic growth, or economic instability of countries in which Shire does business, could have negative consequences for Shire’s business and increase the risk of non-payment by Shire’s customers;
  • changes in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates could have a material adverse effect on Shire’s operating results and liquidity;
  • Shire is subject to evolving and complex tax laws, which may result in additional liabilities that may adversely affect the Shire’s financial condition or results of operations;
  • if a marketed product fails to work effectively or causes adverse side effects, this could result in damage to Shire’s reputation, the withdrawal of the product and legal action against Shire;
  • Shire is dependent on information technology and its systems and infrastructure face certain risks, including from service disruptions, the loss of sensitive or confidential information, cyber-attacks and other security breaches or data leakages that could have a material adverse effect on Shire’s revenues, financial condition or results of operations;
  • Shire faces risks relating to the expected exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union;
  • Shire incurred substantial additional indebtedness to finance the Baxalta acquisition, which has increased its borrowing costs and may decrease its business flexibility;
  • Shire's ongoing strategic review of its Neuroscience franchise may distract management and employees and may not lead to improved operating performance or financial results; there can be no guarantee that, once completed, Shire's strategic review will result in any additional strategic changes beyond those that have already been announced;
  • the potential uncertainty resulting from the announcement by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited on 8 May 2018 of a recommended offer for Shire under the UK Takeover Code; and

a further list and description of risks, uncertainties and other matters can be found in Shire’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in Shire’s subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, in each case including those risks outlined in “ITEM1A: Risk Factors”, and in Shire’s subsequent reports on Form 8-K and other Securities and Exchange Commission filings, all of which are available on Shire’s website.

All forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof. Except to the extent otherwise required by applicable law, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

1 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dry eye syndrome preferred practice pattern—2013. Accessed March 28, 2017.
2 DEWS Research Subcommittee. Research in dry eye: report of the Research Subcommittee of the International Dry Eye WorkShop (2007). Ocul Surf. 2007;5(2):179-193.
3 Paulsen AJ, Cruickshanks KJ, Fischer ME, et al. Dry eye in the Beaver Dam Offspring Study: prevalence, risk factors, and health-related quality of life. Am J Ophthalmol. 2014;157(4):799-806.
4 US Census Data. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Selected Age Groups by Sex for the United States, States, Counties, and Puerto Rico Commonwealth and Municipios: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014. 2014 population estimates. Accessed January 18, 2017.
5 Schaumberg DA, Dana R, Buring JE, Sullivan DA. Prevalence of Dry Eye Disease Among US Men. Arch Ophthalmol 2009; 127(6):763-768.
6 National Eye Institute. Facts about dry eye. Accessed January 11, 2017.