TRENDS & NEWS YOU CAN USE
CL Legislation Passes in Utah
Several bills regarding contact
lens prescriptions have been introduced in various states over the last few months.
The legislation is an effort by retailer 1-800 Contacts to restrict the sale of
what it calls "doctors-only" lenses. Several versions have been introduced and language
varies somewhat from state-to-state.
In Utah, the bill (SB 176) passed by a vote of 21 to 7. Beginning
July 1st, the new legislation requires manufacturers that do business in the state
to certify annually with the attorney general that their lenses are "made available
in a commercially reasonable manner," to alternative channels of distribution, defined
as any mail order company, Internet retailer, pharmacy, buying club, department
store or mass merchandise outlet.
Exempt from the law are GPs, bitoric GPs, lenses for keratoconus
and custom-made lenses. Manufacturers that knowingly and intentionally violate the
law will be guilty of a class-A misdemeanor and may be subject to a civil action
or injunction by the attorney general. Earlier versions of the bill had included
penalties for subscribers as well, but these were not included in the final legislation.
A similar bill was introduced and defeated in Indiana. The Indiana
Optometric Association (IOA) believes the legislation was not based on health or
safety concerns, but on protecting one company's market share. In a public policy
statement, the IOA says, "The issue at hand is a business issue between 1-800 Contacts
and the national manufacturers of contacts." The statement further explains that
it's unlikely that all 80 contact lens manufacturers will go through the process
of certifying their brands with the state of Indiana, making some lenses unavailable
to patients in the state.
A representative for contact lens manufacturer Vistakon says,
"We believe that no law should interfere with a physician's professional judgment
in prescribing the best product for the patient, or restrict a manufacturer's right
to determine what channels of distribution to use for distributing their products."
In other legislative news, a North Carolina law that would have
required children to have an eye exam within six months of entering kindergarten
has been put on hold. A Superior Court judge in Raleigh, N.C., signed an order that
prevents the state from enforcing the law until July 1, 2007 and prohibits any further
court proceedings until October.
Judge Leon Stanback consoli-dated two lawsuits: one was filed
on behalf of the North Carolina School Boards Association and local school boards;
the other was filed by a parent. Opponents claim the exams are too expensive and
unnecessary because children are already required to have a vision screening before
entering school. They want the law declared unconstitutional, arguing that it denies
children a free public education and creates an unreasonable barrier to access to
announced it has retained legal council and lobbyists in part of an intensive lobbying
campaign to defeat the
proposed contact lens legislation in various states (see
above). In a recent press release, the company says the language of the legislation
is ambiguous and does not define standards such as "commercially reasonable" and
"nondiscriminatory manner." CooperVision also says these bills would limit the choices
available to O.D.s and unfairly subjects manufacturers to civil and criminal liability
for legitimate commercial practices.
The company also asserts the belief
that manufacturers should continue to have the right to determine which distribution
channels and business partners are best for the competitiveness of the industry
and for patients. "Federal and state laws traditionally support free market practices,"
says Jeff McLean, president of CooperVision Americas. "Manufacturers of medical
devices in hundreds of industries have the discretion to choose distributors in
order to improve their competitiveness and the quality of their distributors, and
it is essential that contact lens manufacturers be allowed to retain that same discretion,"
More information is available on the
company's web site.
AOSEPT AND CLEAR CARE RETURN
CIBA Resumes Distribution of Solutions
Vision announced that it has resumed shipping contact lens cleaning solutions Clear
Care and Aosept in North America. Con-sumers will see increasing supplies of these
products on the shelves of major retailers nationwide this month. The company anticipates
that shipments of AQuify will follow in the second quarter.
In late 2005, the company voluntarily suspended production as
a cautionary measure in response to concerns about the manufacturing process. The
move caused some shortages in a few markets. CIBA implemented strict monitoring
of the process and retraining, and assures that no products that did not meet its
requirements left the manufacturing facility.
In March 2005, Optometric Management published
the article, "A Case in Clinical Ethics." OM would like to acknowledge that the
six-step method for analyzing cases of clinical ethics, which is detailed in the
article, was taken from chapter 2 (Ethical Decision Making in Clinical Practice)
of the book "An Optometrist's Guide to Clinical Ethics," (R. Norman Bailey, O.D.,
and Elizabeth Heitman, Ph.D.).
SECO Announces Awards, Products and Services
2006 SECO International Congress, held in Atlanta, offered optometrists 18 free
hours of continuing education, over 200 technical exhibits and a number of networking
opportunities. One of the largest shows in eyecare (it attracts about 7,000 optometrists,
opticians, technicians and paraoptometric professionals), SECO regularly includes
a host of announcements from the companies and organizations that serve optometry.
Optometric Management includes a selection of this information below.
►SECO presented awards for 2006
Optometrist of the South (to Gordon Jennings, O.D., Wytheville, Va.), 2006 Young
Optometrist of the South (Tammy Than, O.D., Birmingham, Ala.), and 2006 Paraoptometric
of the South (Sandra Sisk, C.P.O.A., Salisbury, N.C.).
►The Women of Vision presented
the panel discussion, "Opportunities for Women in the New Millennium," sponsored
by Bausch & Lomb.
& Lomb (B&L) announced the U.S. launch of the PureVision multi-focal (balafilcon
A) visibility tinted contact lens. The multifocal completes the company's U.S.
silicone hydrogel contact lens
portfolio, which also includes spherical and toric designs.
►The Vision Care Institute of
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, in partnership with Marco Ophthalmic, OfficeMate,
Optos and Eyemaginations, presented a film entitled, "The Practice of the Future."
The film introduced viewers to a practice that leveraged technology to simplify
data collection, improve data accuracy and provide a seamless flow of information
among doctor, staff and patient. The result: a system that frees the doctor to focus
on compassionate care.
Michael E. Kehoe
CIBA Vision announced the appointment
of Michael E. Kehoe as chief executive officer. Kehoe has served as president of
the global oral care business of Procter & Gamble. During his 27-year tenure
with P&G, he served in various leadership positions in Europe and North America.
Mr. Kehoe, a Canadian national, holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Queen's
University in Kingston, Canada.
CIBA Vision introduced the first daily disposable contact lens
in the United States, FreshLook ONE-DAY color contact lens. The lenses incorporate
CIBA's FreshLook ColorBlends technology into the company's Focus DAILIES platform.
An advantage of the lens is that if patients already wear Focus DAILIES, then they
don't require a refit, noted Jeff Cohen, CIBA's vice president of marketing, North
►In conjunction with the CIBA
press conference, Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) announced funding of eyecare projects
in the tsunami devastated areas of Sri Lanka. Through OGS funding, more than 17,500
survivors of the 2004 tsunami received primary eyecare and prescription glasses
in 2005. OGS is a joint initiative of the World Optometry Foundation, the International
Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and International Centre for Eyecare Education
►M&S Technologies introduced
the Smart System computerized visual acuity and contrast sensitivity system. The
new system offers new hardware options, expanded vision tests, enhanced display
and more user friendly options.
also announced a partnership with Eyemaginations. Each Smart System will contain
a built-in interface with Eyemaginations software, the 3D animated communication
platform developed for the eyecare industry.
►The Association of Regulatory
Boards of Optometry (ARBO) (www.arbo.org) Council on Endorsed Licensure Mobility
for Optometrists (CELMO) presented CELMO certificates to the first optometrists
completing all CELMO requirements. According to ARBO, the program will be helpful
to those who serve in the Armed Forces by providing them with "obtainable licensure
options" once they complete their military service. ARBO reported that it will host
a National Optometric Continuing Education Conference to be held in Chicago on May
13 and 14, immediately following the Midwest Vision Congress & Expo 2006.
National Glaucoma Society is a non-profit organization that offers healthcare practitioners
a variety of research, educational seminars, conferences, newsletters and various
media distribution related to glaucoma. NGS also educates the public on the prevention
and treatment of glaucoma. The site describes these offerings and includes membership
information and sections for case studies, practice management and pharmacology.
NO ROOT CAUSE OF INFECTION
B&L Suspends Sales of ReNu in Singapore
parts of Asia have reported an unusual incidence of fungal keratitis among contact
lens wearers. Although the majority of the patients in those cases remembered using
Bausch & Lomb's multipurpose solutions (ReNu), B&L says that reports indicate
a variety of lens care products produced by different manufacturers were used, which
suggests that "the root cause of these infections is not related to a specific product."
The Singapore Ministry of Health has also said that there is no
definitive link between any particular product and the infection. However, B&L
agreed to voluntarily suspend sales of the solutions in Singapore and Hong Kong
while the investigation proceeds. ReNu is the market-leading brand in those locations,
so "it is not surprising that that those patients remembered the Company's brand
name," says a company statement.
Reports of an outbreak of contact lens-related Fusarium keratitis
in Singapore and Hong Kong first came to B&L's attention in mid-February. The
Singapore health authorities said that most of the contact lens-related fungal keratitis
infections in that country involved patients with histories of poor contact lens
GP AND HYBRID LENSES GET
FDA Provides Clearance for Contact Lenses
FDA has cleared the SynergEyes PS hybrid contact lens for daily wear in patients
with post surgical and post trauma refractive error. This is the fourth FDA market
clearance SynergEyes has received in the last six months.
SynergEyes plans to introduce the new SynergEyes PS lens in the
third quarter of 2006. SynergEyes launched the SynergEyes A lens for astigmatism,
hyperopia and myopia last September and will roll out the new SynergEyes KC lens
for keratoconus in May, 2006. The SynergEyes M lens for presbyopia is planned for
launch in late 2006.
The FDA has cleared an expanded post-surgical indication for Bausch
& Lomb's Boston XO, Boston EO and Boston ES gas permeable (GP) contact lenses
for use in non-diseased eyes that require a rigid contact lens for the management
of irregular corneal conditions such as keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration
(PMD), or following penetrating keratoplasty or refractive (e.g., LASIK) surgery.
These new lens designs must be cleaned and disinfected using an FDA-approved chemical
disinfection system for gas permeable lenses.
L. Mennen, O.D., a graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry, has assumed
a two-year term as chairman of the board at Vision Service Plan. The Oregon native
is a former commander in the United States Naval Reserve.
Scientific named Rodney Larson as president of Gerber Coburn, the worldwide provider
of computer integrated optical lens processing systems. Prior to Gerber Coburn,
Mr. Larson was vice president of Key Technology, Inc., a provider of process automation
Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson (TVCI) has opened its first European
facility in the Czech Republic. Located in Prague, the facility will educate eye
care specialists throughout Europe. TVCI also operates facilities in Jacksonville,
Fla., Seoul, Korea and Taipei, Taiwan.
Optical named Diversified Ophthalmics as the 2005 Transitions Lab of the Year. The
Cincinnati-based lab was recognized among an international crowd of more than 1,000
industry professionals during the 10th-annual Transitions Academy in Universal Studios,
Internet portal Eyefinity announced e-commerce partnerships with Tura, a manufacturer
of frames and sunglasses, REM, a designer and marketer of fashion eyewear, and VersaSuite,
the practice management software developed by Universal Software Solutions.
and AIT Industries' announced the integration of VisionWeb's online ordering service,
Essential, and the Delta Scan 3D Tracer. This integration will offer practices the
ability to attach a trace file to lab orders that are submitted electronically.
The process will reduce turnaround time for receiving finished, edged lenses.
the United States district court in California, OASIS Medical has sued Johnson &
Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. alleging that their use of the
name OASYS infringes and dilutes OASIS Medical's trademark rights.
reports that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended
that the European
Commission approve Ganfort, Allergan's Lumigan/timolol (bimatoprost/timolol
ophthalmic solution) combination product for the treatment of glaucoma. The company
expects EC approval in the second quarter of 2006.
American Society of Corneal and Refractive Technologies (ASCRT), announced its 2006
Annual Meeting will be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., June 1-4, 2006. For more information,
has introduced a series of five new educational posters, encouraging patients to
consider the many factors that could impact their vision. For a complimentary set,
call Transitions Customer Service at (800) 848-1506.
►Imperial Optical introduced
a one-tier pricing structure. This new structure will give many independent practitioners
the same price points that are generally reserved for higher-volume practices. For
a price list, call 800-367-8422.
►ABB Optical has launched
a service called the "ABB Soft Lens Retail Price Monitor." Each quarter audits the
retail pricing of 26 best-selling soft lens brands and publishes the data in a summary
report, which is available through ABB sales representatives.
A clinical trial has concluded that a single dose of azithromycin taken orally after
surgery reduces the recurrence of trichiasis, the vision-threatening eyelid condition
that occurs in communities with little access to clean water, waste water treatment
or healthcare. The conventional treatment is a six-week regimen of tetracycline
ointment applied directly to the eye. The results of the study are published in
the March 2006 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.
Contact lens measures blood sugar
in the United Kingdom are developing a contact lens that senses glucose levels so
that diabetics will no longer have to take daily blood samples. Using "sensor hologram"
technology, the lens senses glucose levels in tear film, which may be linked to
the concentration of glucose in the blood. Smart Holograms and the Department of
Trade and Industry (U.K.) are funding the research.
Optometric Management, Issue: April 2006