Vote to Come on Proposed Board Certification Model
The Joint Board Certification Project Team (JBCPT), formed by six optometric organizations in 2007, conducted an Open Forum on Board Certification at SECO 2009 as the latest effort to communicate the model it released in January to the profession.
At the core of the initial board certification program would be a Patient Assessment and Management-like examination that tests knowledge in core categories. In addition, there are multiple paths to completing other post-graduate educational requirements. The JBCPT emphasized that maintenance of certification is key to the entire model process. Recertification would be required every 10 years and would be broken into several stages.
Details on the framework and the rationale for the model are available at http://www.aoa.org/JBCPT.xml and through other JBCPT member Web sites. The JBCPT stated at SECO that the model would be voted on by the profession over the next few months and that they expected it to be voted on affirmatively. However, input will continue to be encouraged and received before the final model is formed. The team stated that this model will succeed where a similar attempt from 10 years ago failed because of the many organizations working together on this model and because this model makes certification more attainable. JBCPT anticipates that board certification will become a reality in about two-to-three years.
Members of the America Academy of Optometry (AAO), the American Optometric Association (AOA), the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA), the Association of Regulatory Boards in Optometry (ARBO), the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) and the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) will continue to be updated by their organization's representatives.
|For the Record|
|Last month we reported that Edward S. Bennett, OD, MSEd, received the Dr. Leonard Bronstein Memorial Award during the annual Bronstein Seminar in Scottsdale, Ariz. We did not report that Prof. Brien Holden was a co-recipient with Dr. Bennett of this prestigious award. We apologize for the omission.|
Abbott Completes AMO Acquisition
Abbott Laboratories announced that it had completed its acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) at the end of February. AMO is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Abbott and has been renamed Abbott Medical Optics, Inc.
Abbott says that the AMO acquisition enhances and strengthens its diverse mix of medical device businesses and gives it a leadership position in the large and growing eyecare market. Abbott Medical Optics holds the number-one position in LASIK surgical devices, the number-two position in the cataract surgical device market and the number-three position in contact lens care products, according to Abbott.
|■ ABB Concise has received the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association Seal of Excellence Award for 2009-2010. The company has received this award for 16 consecutive years.|
■ Art Optical Contact Lens, Inc. recently announced that following an audit of their quality management systems, the company has been certified to ISO 13485: 2003. The company stated that ISO 13485 is a world-recognized medical device quality system standard that is considered an important milestone in terms of global market expansion, and is currently the most stringent standard of quality control for medical devices.
■ The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) Board of Directors has approved The University of the Incarnate Word School of Optometry's (UIWSO) application for Active Membership. ASCO welcomes UIWSO as its 20th active member school of optometry. In conjunction with the Doctor of Optometry program, UIWSO is launching a Bachelors degree in Vision Science.
■ Vision USA, a program of Optometry's Charity – The AOA Foundation, has received a $100,000 grant from The Alcon Foundation. This funding will help Vision USA continue to meet the needs of a growing number of people who are in need of vision care, but are unable to afford it.
■ Aton Pharma, Inc. has acquired the U.S. marketing rights to the Timoptic product line from Merck & Co., Inc. Timoptic (timolol maleate) is a non-selective beta-adrenergic receptor blocking agent indicated for treatment of elevated intraocular pressure in patients with ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma. In the United States the product line includes Timoptic in Ocudose, the only preservative-free glaucoma medication available in the United States.
■ The FDA has approved Alcon, Inc.'s aspheric AcrySof IQ Toric intraocular lens. The new lens offers an enhanced aspheric optic that improves image quality and increases contrast sensitivity in cataract surgery patients who have astigmatism.
■ Sirion Therapeutics, Inc.'s supplemental New Drug Application submitted to the FDA seeking market approval of Durezol (difluprednate ophthalmic emulsion) 0.05% to treat endogenous anterior uveitis has been accepted for review.
■ Carl Zeiss Meditec has appointed Joseph T. Boorady, OD, FAAO, as the company's director of Clinical Education. In this role, Dr. Boorady will work with administrators, educators, and key opinion leaders to create clinical educational programs designed specifically for optometric teaching institutions. He will also provide leadership and assistance to Carl Zeiss Meditec's sales force to support the company's sales objectives and he will be the optometrist liaison with certain national accounts.
■ Registration is now open for the second annual "Cycle-4-Sight" Ride, sponsored by CIBA Vision. The threeday cycling event is planned for May 14 to 16, 2009, and includes visits to three different wineries in Napa Valley, Calif., and fully catered lunch each day. Prior to riding, each day begins with presentations from industry experts and the opportunity to earn five hours of COPE CE credit. By participating, riders will also be contributing to Optometry Giving Sight. The deadline for registration is May 4, 2009. For more information, registration materials or to see a detailed schedule, visit www.givingsight.org. Click on United States, then Cycle-4-Sight.
■ BizBash, a leading trade magazine for the event industry, has named International Vision Expo East as one of the top 100 annual events in New York. International Vision Expo East, coowned by Reed Exhibitions and The Vision Council, came in ninth in the Trade Show and Conventions category.
■ Prevent Blindness America held the fourth annual "Eyes on Capitol Hill" event in Washington, D.C., from March 2 to 4. The annual program provides participants the opportunity to meet with their government leaders and share their personal experiences with vision loss. PBA arranged more than 100 appointments with Congressional and Senate offices in an effort to provide policymakers the opportunity to discuss the importance of funding vision health programs for their constituents.
Menicon Appoints New President
Menicon Co., Ltd. has named Jonathan Jacobson as president of Menicon America. Mr. Jacobson joined Menicon in November as general manager, Global Strategies & Operations. His new position is in addition to his current role, and he continues to be based in Boston while being responsible for the company's global strategies and operations, including Menicon America and the recently acquired Rose K business.
"It's exciting for me to undertake this additional new role in our American operations as I see good opportunities for expanding our business in this important market," said Mr. Jacobson.
Mr. Kaz Murakami, past president of Menicon America, will return to Japan to undertake a new position at the head office of Menicon Co., Ltd.
Also, Milton Kallas has been incorporated into Menicon's North America team. Mr. Kallas will directly report to Mr. Jacobson and take responsibility for all day-to-day activities of the company. Mr. Kallas formerly worked for the Boston Products Group of Bausch & Lomb.
|Study Reports Replacement Schedule Noncompliance|
|■ CIBA Vision recently announced results of a new study demonstrating a high level of non-conformance with recommended replacement schedules among U.S. contact lens wearers. In a study of 1,654 contact lens wearers, 59 percent of two-week replacement silicone hydrogel patients wore their lenses for longer than the manufacturer recommended replacement frequency (MRRF). Twenty-nine percent of one-month replacement silicone hydrogel wearers and only 15 percent of daily disposable wearers reported wearing their lenses for longer than the MRRF.|
When patients were asked what their eyecare practitioner's recommended replacement schedule was, 10 percent of daily disposable, 22 percent of two-week replacement silicone hydrogel and 2 percent of one-month replacement silicone hydrogel wearers reported longer periods than the MRRF.
The study was conducted by the Centre for Contact Lens Research (CCLR) at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in collaboration with David B. Sarwer, PhD, associate professor of psychology, psychiatry and surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine.
The study also determined that the two most frequent reasons for overwearing contact lenses were "forgetting which day to replace lenses" (51 percent) and "to save money" (26 percent).
B&L Initiatives, Partnerships
Bausch & Lomb has launched its largest integrated marketing initiative with the goal of raising U.S. awareness of presbyopia and multifocal contact lenses. With more than 78 million baby boomers in the U.S. either already presbyopic or becoming presbyopic, B&L recognized a huge need for education and awareness around this topic. Once learning about multifocal contact lenses, 75 percent of patients wearing contact lenses or readers want to try them.
To support this goal, B&L is embarking on a multi-channel marketing initiative that incorporates advertising, the www.goodbyereaders.com Web site and additional promotions.
B&L has also developed an online Multifocal Fitting Assistant tool to provide practitioners with the information they need to maximize their success with multifocals. Visit www.presbyopesinyourpractice.com.
For astigmatic patients, B&L has created the Toric Unmasker, a vision-enhancing tool to help engage astigmatic patients in discussions about moving from spherical to toric lenses. Go to www.bausch.com/torictips.
B&L and Pfizer Inc. announced a co-promotion agreement involving both companies' prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals in the United States. The five-year agreement includes Pfizer's Xalatan (latanoprost ophthalmic solution) and B&L's Alrex (loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic suspension 0.2%), Lotemax (loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic suspension 0.5%) and Zylet (loteprednol etabonate 0.5% and tobramycin 0.3% ophthalmic suspension). The co-promotion agreement also will apply to B&L's investigational anti-infective eye drop, besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension, 0.6%, which is currently awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Under the terms of the agreement, both the Pfizer and Bausch & Lomb sales forces will promote Xalatan, Alrex, Lotemax, Zylet and besifloxacin (subject to FDA approval).
B&L also entered into a licensing agreement with Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., for the development of certain intraocular lens (IOL) materials.
B&L has obtained the rights to Santen's hydrophobic acrylic polymers, from which it may commercialize new IOLs for sale worldwide. Santen reserves the right for the use of these materials in the Japanese market. Financial terms will not be disclosed.
|SECO International Awards|
|SECO International has announced the recipients of its three 2009 awards that recognize significant contributions to the profession of optometry. Martha Greenberg, OD, has been named Optometrist of the South, SECO's highest honor. Chevron Ergle, OD, has received SECO's Young Optometrist of the South award and Emily Ellison, LDO, CPOT, has been named Paraoptometric of the South. The awards were presented to the recipients during the SECO International House of Delegates meeting on Friday, March 6.|
Hoya Launches Grant Program
Hoya Vision Care, North America, has announced an optometry student grant program and a strategic alliance with Cleinman Performance Partners, a business consultancy for large optometry practices.
Through the $250,000 Hoya/Cleinman Graduate Connections Program, each of the 19 schools of optometry will receive an opportunity to present a workshop open to all students that will better prepare them for future ownership of private optometry practices.
In addition, select 3rd and 4th year optometry students who attend the workshops will have the opportunity to participate, alongside the leaders of many of North America's largest and most successful optometry practices, in Cleinman Performance Network (CPN), a division of Cleinman Performance Partners. The Network provides a long-term business development experience for owners of large optometry practices. Twice per year these leaders meet in facilitated groups to exchange knowledge and develop new ideas. The students who win a Graduate Connections Grant will receive the opportunity to experience a CPN meeting and will be introduced to the leaders of large optometry practices who are seeking associates, partners and successors. Grant winners will also have opportunities for additional networking with CPN leaders.
In addition to the Student Grant, a special education program will be delivered at the participating Schools of Optometry designed to prepare graduates for their involvement in leadership positions in private practice.
The first workshop will take place at the University of Houston at the end of this month. The program will roll out to all schools by the end of next year.
|Walmart, 1-800 Contacts Cut Lens Prices|
|Walmart and 1-800 Contacts will cut the cost of contact lenses at 2,500 Walmart locations and online. The companies, as part of a joint program, estimate that they will reduce the cost of a yearly supply of contact lenses by as much as 50 percent in some cases. Additionally, Walmart lowered its prices on glasses and frames for children 18 years and younger.|
Walmart's program with 1-800 Contacts will allow consumers to purchase contact lenses at discounted prices at store locations, at walmart.com, by phoning 1-800, or going online to 1-800's site. In the pilot program, Walmart and 1-800 Contacts estimate that customers have already saved more than $25 million since it began the program nationwide in January.
The companies will offer consumers instant rebates for one-year supplies of contact lenses at the time of purchase, but want to stress everyday low prices without the need for promotions. Examples of lenses and pricing include Acuvue Oasys (Vistakon), $239.92 for a year supply (eight boxes); Air Optix Aqua (CIBA Vision), $169.96 for a year supply (four boxes); and PureVision Toric (Bausch & Lomb), $195.96 for a year supply (four boxes).
|■ SynergEyes Launches Educational Web Site for Keratoconus Patients|
SynergEyes Inc. has launched a new educational Web site at www.SharingOneVision.com for patients seeking information on keratoconus and treatment with hybrid lenses. The site offers information on the disease, a doctor locator and educational videos on how to properly apply, remove and clean hybrid contact lenses.
■ Worldwide Network Launches for Vision Care Professionals
The Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, in collaboration with CenterVue SpA of Padova, Italy, have launched the Eye Knowledge Network or EKN, a networking site designed to be interactive and to bridge boundaries that may exist due to geography or unintentional professional insulation. Network contributors from the top of their professions will bring their expertise to EKN members via podcasts, screencasts, presentations, audio and video files and other formats. Visit www.eyeknowledgenetwork.net.