Ken Jeong has made a career joking around about a lot of things, but dry eye disease is not one of them.
That’s why the one-time doctor turned actor-comedian has once again reupped for a campaign promoting Xiidra, Novartis’ dry eye disease treatment.
Starring as “Real Dry Eye Patient” in a mock movie trailer, Jeong experiences the symptoms of dry eye disease caused by inflammation and uses Xiidra to treat so he can attend an upscale dance party later in the evening.
The two-minute spot was released earlier this month and is yet another ad featuring dry eye advocate Jeong. He told People in 2021 that he has suffered from the condition for decades due to long working hours at hospitals and then subsequently at dusty sound stages in Hollywood.
In mid-2022, The Masked Singer judge was featured in a two-minute long ad called “What’s Driving Ken Jeong Crazy?” In it, he discussed the challenges that come with being afflicted by dry eye disease and how Xiidra can offer relief.
One year earlier, Jeong was again behind the wheel for a Xiidra commercial, promoting the product’s tagline “Not Today, Dry Eye.”
Many people over the age of 50 across the U.S. are affected by dry eye disease, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, including more than 3.2 million women and nearly 1.7 million men.
Xiidra was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in July 2016 and has been a reliable revenue generator for Novartis, producing $109 million in sales in Q3 2022.
Jeong is no stranger to healthcare, having earned a medical degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill before practicing internal medicine for years.
In addition to the Xiidra campaign, Jeong, who remains a licensed physician in California, has used his platform to spread other critical healthcare messages over the years.
Jeong was featured in Ken Burns’ 2015 documentary Cancer: The Emperor of Maladies, where he discussed his wife’s Stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis in the late 2000s. Jeong, who was filming The Hangover at the time, said he used the experience to “funnel his rage, fear and to make his wife laugh.”
Ultimately, his performance as Mr. Chow served as his breakout role and kick-started his career.