Article Date: 1/1/2006

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Academy Conference Shares Wealth of Contact Lens Information

At its recent annual meeting in San Diego, the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) presented a number of firsts and new information regarding contact lenses. Below is a selected list of contact lens-related topics from the AAO press conference.

Alcon's Opti-Free ReplenISH multi-purpose disinfecting solution with the wetting system "Tearglyde" promoted comfort in lens wearers and received FDA clearance for soft contact lenses, including silicone hydrogels, reported Dr. Ralph Stone, Alcon vice president of consumer products and clinical operations.

CIBA Vision announced the new Focus Dailies one-day disposable contact lenses that feature AquaRelease, a built-in moisturizing agent that maintains "excellent tear breakup time" for clinically-proven all-day comfort, announced Kevin Roe, O.D., director of professional relations (See page 15 for additional news from CIBA Vision.)

CooperVision announced that its new silicone hydrogel lens, Biofinity, was approved by the FDA and will be available in the United States this year. According to Cooper Vision's Guy Whittaker, B.Sc., M.B.A., M.C.Optom, the lens material is inherently wettable and requires no surface treatment or wetting agents. The company also introduced PC Hydrogels, a new category of contact lens material (see page 13.)

A new study, sponsored by Vistakon and presented by Robin Chalmers, O.D., concludes that lenses made with senofilcon A, a new silicone hydrogel material, were associated with a reduction in discomfort and other problems associated with contact lens wear.

Tim Koch, O.D., presented information on SynergEyes, a hybrid contact lens made with a high-Dk GP center bonded to a soft, hydro-philic outer skirt. Go to for more details.

Other studies presented include:

"The Australian and New Zealand Microbial Keratitis Study," reporting on the incidence of microbial keratitis in silicone hydrogel extended wear compared with conven- tional hydrogel daily wear (presented by Fiona Stapleton, B.Sc., M.Sc., M.C.Optom, Ph.D.) and "Risk Factors for Infiltrates in continuous Wear Contact Lenses," presented by Dr. Chalmers.

Look for additional coverage of the AAO meeting in the February issue of Optometric Management.

Oasys Wins New Indication

The FDA last month granted AcuVue Oasys Brand Contact Lenses with Hydraclear Plus an additional indication, approving the contact lenses for up to six consecutive nights and seven days of extended wear. Formerly, the lens had been approved for daily wear.

Bausch & Lomb ReNu with MoistureLoc Multi-Purpose Solution (MPS) also received approval an additional indication for use with silicone hydrogel contact lenses. An additional claim that the product conditions contact lenses, was also approved.

New VSP Leaders

VSP (Vision Service Plan) appointed Rob Lynch, a veteran of the employee-benefits industry, its new president. Named one of "35 Rising Stars" by Business Insurance magazine, Mr. Lynch has served on VSP's Board of Directors for nine years. In addition to serving as president, Mr. Lynch will succeed Roger J. Valine as VSP's chief executive officer upon Valine's retirement later this year.


VSP also announced that Don Yee will become CEO of VSP's family of companies. Yee will oversee Altaireyewear, the VSP Labs and Eyefinity. He'll also be responsible for future venture development, while he retains his current position as senior vice president of marketing and corporate development at VSP.


CooperVision's New Hydrogels

CooperVision introduced a new hydrogel contact lens material and one contact lens last month. PC (phosphorylcholine) Hydrogels is a material designed for daily-wear contact lenses that the company says offers excellent high water affinity for comfort. It�s available in Proclear Sphere, Proclear Toric, Proclear Multifocal, UltraVue PC Multifocals and Bio-medics XC contact lenses. They�re manufactured from omafilcon A material.

The company�s new Biofinity silicone hydrogel contact lens offers high oxygen transmission, low modulus and high water content. It�s made from comfilcon A, so it�s inherently wetting, requiring no wetting agents, CooperVision says.

CIBA In the News

CIBA Vision says its three-year study evaluating the performance of its silicone hydrogel Night & Day contact lenses indicates that contact lens wearers showed improved signs of corneal health, as well as improvements in frequency and severity of contact-lens related symptoms.

Specifically, the study, which involved 317 patients, revealed that Night & Day lens wearers showed signs of improved limbal redness by up to 23%, improved conjunctival redness by 21% and improved neovascularization by 13%. Dryness at the end of the day improved in 22% of patients. Additionally, results of the study showed that the probability of Night &Day wearers remaining free from significant corneal infiltrates (grades three or four) was 96.9%.

Sales of silicone hydrogel contact lenses have more than doubled during the first eight months of 2005, according to retail audit data by the A.C. Nielsen Co. They now account for 24% of total soft lens sales, up from 12% in the same period of 2004. CIBA Vision lenses represent 49.5% of retail sales of silicone hydrogels through August.

In other news, CIBA Vision announced it will donate $1 million over the next five years to develop Optometry Giving Sight (OGS), an organization dedicated to eliminating one of the major causes of blindness and low vision in the world — uncorrected refractive error. CIBA Vision will also fund a full-time fellowship position at OGS to support the group's efforts internationally.

Double medications, cut compliance?

Adding "complexity" — that is, a second medication — to a glaucoma medical treatment regimen reduces patient compliance signif- icantly, a recent study found.

The study compares medication refill rates for two groups of glaucoma patients. The participants included patients of a large national healthcare provider who had received a prescription for latanoprost (Xalatan, Pharmacia) between July 1, 2001 and June 30, 2002. The population was similar in age and gender. One group was composed of 1,784 patients who had a second medication added. The other group of 3,146 patients remained on monotherapy. For each patient, the mean number of days between refills was calculated for both the period before, and subsequent to, the addition of the second medication. An interperiod difference in refill interval between the two periods was also calculated.

An analysis of the refill intervals revealed that when a second drug was added, in 33.7% of patients the refill interval for latanoprost was the same or less (i.e., earlier) than with the prior monotherapy. An additional 43.3% of participants refilled their latanoprost within two weeks of the prior monotherapy experience. However, for an additional 22.9% of patients, the interval was increased by two weeks. A similar distribution of refill intervals was seen when stratified by fill size or second-line drug.

For more detailed information, the study can be found in the December issue of Ophthalmology 2005; 112:863-868.


The article "The Same Tool ... Different Answers," in OM's November issue, did not feature notification that the article was continued on page 95. OM regrets the error.


E-commerce site hits milestone. CooperVision reported that more than one million customer orders have been placed and fulfilled online via its MyCooperVision e-commerce site. The company launched the online business-to-business customer service center in 2004.


Three join SCO's Board of Trustees. Attorney Jim Jalenak of Memphis, Dr. Christopher King of Eaglewood, Fla., and Dr. Robert Smalling of Warren, Ark., were elected to the Southern College of Optometry's Board of Trustees.

New CEO/Pres. At Visioneering. Visioneering Corp.'s Board of Directors named Joe DeLapp the company's new president and CEO. Mr. DeLapp previously served in those positions at Briot-WECO.

B&L VP honored. Steven D. Silverman, vice president of information technology for Global Operations and Engineering at Bausch & Lomb, was named on the business world's Premier 100 IT Leaders by IDG's Computerworld. The award honors executives who show "exemplary technology leadership in resolving pressing business problems."

Optometric Management, Issue: January 2006