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Johnson & Johnson Vision has received approval for the world's first drug-releasing combination contact lens designed for people with allergies.

The new lens, known as ACUVUE Theravision with Ketotifen, provides vision correction while also delivering an antihistamine drug that relieves symptoms of itchy eyes.

The approval has come from the Japanese Ministry of Heath, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) and will allow for the production of a new contact lens that contains ketotifen, an H1 histamine receptor antagonist that prevents itchiness often associated with allergies.

According to Johnson & Johnson, itchy eyes as a result of allergies can impact vision, which is even more difficult to manage for those wearing contact lenses who often resort to rubbing their eyes. Data found that 8 in 10 of contact lens wearers felt frustrated when their eye allergies affected their ability to comfortably wear contact lenses, which prompted the global firm to develop the new product.

Xiao-Yu Song, MD, PhD, Global Head of Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson Vision, commented: "This approval marks another significant milestone in Johnson & Johnson Vision's legacy of rethinking what's possible with contact lenses, and bringing forward innovations to help eye care practitioners better meet the needs of their patients around the world."

He added: "Our goal at Johnson & Johnson Vision is to change the trajectory of eye health and we will continue to drive new innovation and technologies that correct, enhance, and restore people's vision over their lifetimes."

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