Blindness affects 60 million people worldwide. The leading causes of irreversible blindness include age-related macular degeneration, retinal vascular diseases and glaucoma. The unique features of the eye provide both benefits and challenges for drug discovery and delivery. During the past decade, the landscape for ocular drug therapy has substantially changed and our knowledge of the pathogenesis of ophthalmic diseases has grown considerably. Anti-angiogenic drugs have emerged as the most effective form of therapy for age-related macular degeneration and retinal vascular diseases. Lowering intraocular pressure is still the mainstay for glaucoma treatment but neuroprotective drugs represent a promising next-generation therapy. This Review discusses the current state of ocular drug therapy and highlights future therapeutic opportunities.