Thank you, Mark. I'll begin this morning with the launch update for EYSUVIS.
We are pleased to report that as of the week ending April 23rd, data from Symphony Health and our patient hub indicate that more than 11,600 prescriptions for EYSUVIS have been filled, written by more than 2000 unique prescribers since the product launched in early January. In the short period of time, EYSUVIS is quickly establishing itself in the market as an ideal first-line treatment option for dry eye flares. Symphony patient source data indicate that approximately half of all EYSUVIS prescriptions are for treatment of eye patients, who previously had not been on a prescription therapy for their dry eye disease. Supporting our belief that EYSUVIS has the potential to become the preferred first-line prescription therapy for dry eye flares.
Turning now to execution against two of our strategic priorities for the EYSUVIS launch, ensuring optimal access and broad payer coverage and establishing EYSUVIS as the preferred prescription therapy for the short-term treatment of dry eye disease.
Our market access team has done a great job expanding our payer coverage for EYSUVIS.
Just four months into launch, we have secured coverage for approximately 43% of commercial lives, totaling approximately 69 million lives. Gaining market access coverage with commercial payers is a core part of our launch strategy in 2021. Commercial payers make up the largest proportion of dry eye prescriptions in patients with mild-to-moderate dry eye disease are typically younger and are more likely to have commercial health insurance. Earlier in the first quarter, we announced that EYSUVIS was added to Express Scripts' National Preferred, Basic and High Performance Formularies.
We also announced that Cigna would add EYSUVIS to their formulary, as a preferred brand effective May 15, 2021.
In addition to these two formulary wins, we have secured coverage from other commercial health plans as well including EmblemHealth and Primera.
We are incredibly pleased with this level of coverage so early in launch and believe it indicates payer anticipation of significant demand for EYSUVIS. We look forward to further growing our market access coverage the year which will be a key driver of our prescription growth in the months ahead. With substantial progress underway and building payer coverage, we are also making significant headway into establishing EYSUVIS as a first-line prescription therapy for the short-term treatment of dry eye disease, which includes dry eye flares.
We are routinely surveying eye care professionals and market research and the EYSUVIS awareness growing.
Our most recent survey indicated that nearly 80% of respondents report that they are familiar to extremely familiar with EYSUVIS and the same survey, nearly 70% of respondents stated that they have already prescribed EYSUVIS.
Additionally survey responses indicate that eye care professionals give EYSUVIS as suitable for a wide range of dry eye patients. We believe these quantitative results are closely linked to the positive anecdotal feedback we have been receiving from eyecare professionals since we launched EYSUVIS in January. Physicians consistently comment that EYSUVIS is a very comfortable eyedrop to administer and that patients are benefiting from its rapid onset of action. Eyecare professionals report that patients are achieving rapid symptom relief and that they are highly satisfied with how well the product works. In order to support the progress we are making against both securing market access and building demand for EYSUVIS, we plan to initiate our next sales force expansion in the second quarter, increasing from 91 to approximately 105 sales representatives by the start of the third quarter. Then pending continued growth in payer coverage and the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, we plan to further expand our sales force to approximately 125 sales representatives by the end of 2021.
We are very pleased with EYSUVIS launch performance to date. The team is executing against our strategic launch priorities and our ongoing efforts as we take the ophthalmology and optometry communities on EYSUVIS is generating significant demand. We look forward to updating you on our launch progress on future calls.
Turning now to INVELTYS.
As we have shared over the past year, the pandemic has impacted the ocular surgery market. In the first quarter of 2021 through approximately 37,000 prescriptions of INVELTYS reported by Symphony Health compared to 41,000 prescriptions reported in the fourth quarter of 2020. Despite the challenges to pandemic continues to present, we believe that INVELTYS prescriptions and revenues will grow over time.
However, we remain unable to project the specific timing or quantify the potential impact on future revenues given the continued uncertainty around the impact and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic on elective ocular procedures.
Now I'd like to turn the call over to Mary to go over our financial results.