CIBA Launches Programs to Educate Practitioners
CIBA Vision has launched a comprehensive global professional education initiative called the CIBA Vision Academy for Eyecare Excellence (CV Academy). The company has also partnered with Essilor of America to launch an optometric educational initiative as part of its CV Academy called the First Practice Academy, which is endorsed by the American Optometric Association and designed for independent optometrists who have been private practice owners for three years or less.
CIBA says that its CV Academy will help eyecare professionals stay current with the latest clinical aspects of contact lenses and lens care, manage the business side of their practices, communicate effectively with patients and prescribe vision correction solutions that best meet patients' lifestyle and eye health needs.
The CV Academy will develop differentiated education programs on a global basis and will also customize its offerings to meet the specific needs of local practitioners and staff in various markets. Programs will target eyecare practitioners operating in diverse practice settings and at different stages in their career and will share "best practices" of highly successful practitioners. To help reach more practitioners, outreach will occur in a variety of formats such as seminars, publications, research reports, Web sites and regular electronic communications.
One example of the educational support that the CV Academy will provide is the Management & Business Academy (MBA), co-sponsored in the United States by Essilor of America and introduced in the United States in 2005. In 2007 CIBA launched similar programs in the United Kingdom and Australia. CIBA plans to launch the MBA concept in other markets during 2008.
CIBA also plans to introduce several new programs this year under the Academy for Eyecare Excellence umbrella in addition to the First Practice Academy. Other U.S. CV Academy offerings in 2008 will include clinical education on toric contact lenses and education on prescribing contact lenses based on the specific vision and lifestyle needs of patients.
Eyecare professionals worldwide can access the educational offerings of the CV Academy by visiting www.cvacademy.com, which launched early last month. The MBA program also has a continually updated Web site at www.mba-ce.com.
First Practice Academy
CIBA's new First Practice Academy (FPA) will kick off in June and will be taught by industry-leading independent optometrists who have build large private practices from the ground up. The curriculum will focus on business fundamentals with seminars on finance, profitability, marketing, staff management and the legal aspects of practice.
FPA attendees will also have the opportunity to benchmark the performance of their business versus other independent practices. By completing a confidential questionnaire on the financial aspects of their practices, attendees will be given an individualized, detailed performance appraisal based on key comparative metrics from other new and established practices.
The FPA provides attendees with a forum for networking with other new optometric business owners, and attendees will also benefit from a Web site offering practice management tools and a handbook with detailed business strategies and step-by-step tactics developed specifically for new optometric business owners. FPA alumni will receive ongoing support with updated practice-building information and tips, as well as the opportunity for continued online dialogue with faculty.
"The American Optometric Association applauds CIBA Vision and Essilor of America's commitment to supporting optometrists during their critical formative years," said Peter H. Kehoe, OD, FAAO, AOA president-elect.
TVCI Launches New Satellite Center at SCCO
The Southern California College of Optometry is partnering with The Vision Care Institute (TVCI), LLC, a Johnson & Johnson Company, to create an on-campus satellite training center where optometry students can receive professional level training with distance learning and live programming from TVCI. The Southern California College of Optometry is the fourth optometry school to participate in the TVCI program linking its Florida campus with optometry schools in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
"Educational programming at the satellite centers includes distance learning programs for first- through fourth-year optometry students, using videoconferencing technologies from the Jacksonville headquarters," said Richard Clompus, OD, FAAO, TVCI director. "Additional satellite centers will be built at other optometry schools in the future."
"The Vision Care Institute Satellite Learning Center at the Southern California College of Optometry is the key link in completing the state-of-the-art campus," said Dr. Lesley Walls, president of SCCO. "The Satellite Learning Center allows all the various College constituents to hold important meetings and conferences without leaving home. I anticipate a high demand for its use by our faculty and students and anticipate that it will help promote professional private practice for our graduates."
|■ The Novartis Consumer Health Division recently named Andrea Saia as CEO of CIBA Vision. Saia was most recently COO of CIBA and has held several global positions of increasing responsibility with the company. She succeeds Michael Kehoe, who has decided to pursue outside career opportunities.|
■ The Cooper Companies, Inc. has appointed John A. Weber president of CooperVision. Weber most recently served as president, Asia Pacific since April 2007 and vice president, worldwide manufacturing and distribution of CooperVision from January 2005 to March 2007. In addition, Steven M. Neil, the company's chief financial officer, recently resigned. Eugene J. Midlock, most recently Cooper's vice president of finance, has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer.
■ Paul H. Sartori, PhD, joined Bausch & Lomb last month as corporate vice president and chief human resources officer. Dr. Sartori most recently was senior vice president of organizational development and human resources for Boston-based BioTrove, Inc.
■ Gerald D. Cagle, PhD, Alcon's senior vice president of Research and Development and chief scientific officer, will retire from the company at the end of June. Sabri Markabi, MD, formerly vice president, head of Development Franchise at Novartis Global Development, has succeeded Dr. Cagle and joined the company as senior vice president of Research and Development.
■ Johnson & Johnson Vision Care has announced a multi-faceted marketing campaign designed to promote ocular health and to highlight the availability of 1-Day Acuvue Moist lenses in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Central America. Per the announcement, the company has partnered with McCann Erickson of Puerto Rico to design a comprehensive marketing plan focusing attention on the health, comfort and convenience benefits of its new product, while emphasizing the importance of getting an annual eye exam.
■ Addition Technology, Inc., manufacturer of Intacs corneal implants, has received regulatory clearance from Health Canada to market Intacs corneal implants for keratoconus and myopia indications. I-Med Pharma, a privately held Canadian manufacturer and distributor of ophthalmic surgical and topical products, will distribute Intacs and eventually other Additional Technology products in Canada.
■ The Shandong Institute of Pharmaceutical Research in China has named Praveen Tyle, PhD, chief scientific officer, and Erning Xia, research fellow and coordinator for Bausch & Lomb Freda research and development, as distinguished research fellows, the Institute's highest scientific honor. Bausch & Lomb Freda, the company's pharmaceutical joint venture in the region, has recently relocated its research and development activities to the Institute's new facility in Jinan, China.
■ Recent peer-review clinical results show that Bausch & Lomb's Zylet (loteprednol etabonate 0.5% and tobramycin 0.3% ophthalmic suspension) is clinically equivalent to Tobradex (dexamethasone 0.1% and tobramycin 0.3% ophthalmic suspension, Alcon) in decreasing the signs and symptoms of ocular inflammation in the treatment of blepharokeratoconjunctivitis. In addition, study subjects treated with Tobradex experienced a significant increase in intraocular pressure compared to those treated with Zylet.
■ Alcon recently released clinical trial data showing that anecortave acetate administered as an anterior juxtascleral depot in the sub-Tenon's space to reduce intraocular pressure in patients who have open-angle glaucoma demonstrated statistically significant lower mean IOP than vehicle at three months.
■ The FDA has accepted and granted priority review to Sirion Therapeutics, Inc.'s New Drug Application for Durezol (difluprednate ophthalmic emulsion) 0.05%, a twice-daily steroid as a treatment for postoperative ocular inflammation.
■ AllAboutVision.com has become a National Supporter of Optometry Giving Sight in the United States. The company's sponsorship will include a donation as well as advertising and other communications outreach for OGS.
CIBA Launches New Brand, Logo, Corporate Identity
CIBA Vision introduced the Air Optix brand name in the United States and launched Air Optix for Astigmatism for Spring 2008. Moving forward, new products and product improvements to CIBA Vision's family of silicone hydrogel contact lenses will be introduced under the Air Optix brand name and with a monthly replacement schedule.
According to CIBA, research shows 56 percent patient compliance for those wearing monthly lenses; an increase of more than twice the compliance rate of one-to-two week lenses. Research shows that Air Optix for Astigmatism sustains its performance throughout the monthly duration, the company said.
Over the past year, CIBA has worked to improve its manufacturing capacity, particularly for its silicone hydrogel lenses. This is allowing increased speed-to-market for CIBA's future silicone hydrogel lens innovations. As part of these investments, CIBA also implemented proprietary manufacturing process improvements, which company officials say have led to a new level of comfort and consistency for Night & Day and O2Optix lenses.
Company data shows that more than 96 percent of patients now rate Night & Day high for initial comfort — an improvement of 58 percent over comfort ratings for Night & Day before the process improvements. Additional research shows that patients' satisfaction with comfort and overwhelmingly positive ratings for Night & Day lenses start strong and grow stronger over time.
Ratings for O2Optix also increased, with more than 92 percent of patients now rating the lens high for initial comfort. Also, CIBA reports a survey conducted with current O2Optix wearers found that 81 percent who had previously worn other brands of soft lenses rated O2Optix better than their prior lenses.
New Logo and Purpose Statement
With the product and manufacturing upgrades, CIBA introduced a new corporate identity to reflect the company's renewed commitment to being leaders in the eye care field. The new corporate identity includes a new logo and purpose statement: "Shared Passion for Healthy Vision and Better Life."
To better partner with and support eyecare professionals in bringing the benefits that these new products offer to their patients, CIBA is also increasing its investment in programs to educate professionals on enhancing the patient experience and improving the business performance of their practices.
CIBA will phase in the new logo on product packaging and other materials throughout 2008, with full transition to the new logo expected by the end of 2009.
ARBO to Set New COPE Standards
The Association of the Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) has developed new standards for commercial support of COPE-approved continuing education. The standards are currently in draft format and will supplement the existing guidelines for COPE-approved administrators and speakers, plus add requirements to manage corporate support of COPE-approved CE with the highest integrity and free of commercial bias.
The new standards are intended to benefit the relationship between industry and optometric continuing education and to give clear direction to both providers and industry. By ensuring compliance with these standards, industry is protected, optometric CE integrity is protected, the profession benefits from subsidized education and the public is protected and benefits from improved quality of care.
Final guidelines will be released during the AOA Congress in June. Before then will be a period for appropriate comment and suggestion from stakeholders in the CE system. You can view the draft standards on ARBO's Web site at www.arbo.org.
ARBO President Christina Sorenson, OD, stated, "Our commitment is to continue to provide salient and unbiased CE that is not influenced by a specific company, product or brand. Our responsibility is to provide and implement the standards necessary for establishing and protecting the integrity of optometric CE."
|FOR THE RECORD|
In the March "IER Matrix Update: Adding Another Silicone Hydrogel" feature, in section 3 under Results and Discussion it states, "For example, examining the five combinations in Table 2 for which the area of the cornea affected was 3 percent or less, the percentage of affected patients varied up to 10 percent." It should have said, "…for which the area of the cornea affected was 3 percent, the percentage…"
In the March article "Presbyopic Soft Lens Design Options," Blanchard's Quattro lens is misspelled as Quatro in Table 2. Contact Lens Spectrum regrets the error.
|■ CooperVision Launches Site for Patient Education|
CooperVision has launched CooperVision.tv, a new online resource for educating patients. Available at http://coopervision.tv, the site is designed as a resource for eyecare practitioners to use with their patients to further their understanding of contact lens wear and care techniques and to explain the technologies behind CooperVision's contact lens portfolio. The site requires no registration or fee to use. Topics in the videos on the site include contact lens wear and care, multifocal contact lenses, contact lenses for emerging presbyopes, Biofinity with Aquaform Technology, and PC Technology. Practitioners can access Coopervision.tv directly or via the secure Web site reserved for practitioners on www.coopervision.com.