Remembering Dr. Bruce A. Bridgewater
Bruce A. Bridgewater, OD, passed away on Sept. 1, 2012 at the age of 54 after battling cancer. Having received his degree with honors from Ferris State University, College of Optometry, he served as a consultant for several contact lens manufacturers, including Paragon Vision Sciences, where he assisted in the development of novel contact lens technologies. He was a member of the American Optometric Association and its Contact Lens Section, the Arizona Optometric Association, and the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists.
In 1998, Dr. Bridgewater founded Acuity One, which develops and manufactures custom contact lens products in both soft and GP materials. The company's first product, the UltraVue hydrogel multifocal, was ultimately acquired by CooperVision.
Dr. Bridgewater was widely published in ophthalmic literature, including in Contact Lens Spectrum, and he also lectured at domestic and international symposia. In addition to Acuity One, he owned a private practice in Scottsdale, Ariz.
|How Alike are Pet Meds and CLs?|
|A recent article posted online by the Veterinary Information Network discusses aspects of the fallout related to the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act enacted in 2003, which required eyecare professionals to provide prescriptions to their patients, and draws parallels to current activity within the animal health arena. It specifically examines and compares the expansion of internet contact lens sales and that of internet sales of pet medications and the effects on the professional providers in the respective industries. The full article is available at http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=24419.|
|■ To assist practitioners in helping new and current contact lens wearers better understand how to safely wear and care for their contact lenses, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. has developed Healthy Vision & Contact Lenses, a new educational resource for in-office, website, and social media use. Healthy Vision & Contact Lenses is available in both PDF and print versions. The PDF copies, which practitioners can customize to include their contact information, can be viewed and downloaded at www.acuvueprofessional.com/HVCL. The print versions include 50 tear-sheets on a pad. To request a pad, send your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org .com.|
■ The Optometric Historical Society's (OHS) “Blast From the Past” presentation at this year's American Academy of Optometry meeting will feature OHS Board Member Dr. Morton Greenspoon, whose subject will be, “Lights, Camera, Contacts: A History of Contact Lenses in the Movie Industry.” Dr. Greenspoon has been providing special effect contact lenses to the film industry since 1951. The presentation will be held in Room 229A of the Phoenix Convention Center on Friday, Oct. 26 at 10:00 am.
■ Applications are now invited for the annual British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) research awards, including the 2014 BCLA Medal Award, the 2014 BCLA Dallos Award, The 2013 BCLA Da Vinci Award, and the 2014 Irving Fatt Memorial Lecture. The closing date is Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. For further details and application forms, visit the BCLA website at www.bcla.org.uk.
■ Earlier this year, Allergan launched the Optometry Jumpstart program designed to support recent optometry school graduates. Recent graduates can enroll in this free program at www.allerganodjumpstart.com. One of the program's newest resources is free access to a 3D Vision Simulator application by EyeMaginations for iPad. Free access to the application through Optometry Jumpstart lasts until July 2013.
■ Bausch + Lomb (B+L) recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted additional labeling instructions for B+L's Besivance (besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension) 0.6% eye drop, including an indication to treat bacterial conjunctivitis infections caused by susceptible isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Three other significant ocular pathogens added to the indications granted for Besivance eye drops include Aerococcus viridians, Moraxella catarrhis, and Staphylococcus warneri.
■ The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) is encouraging any educators interested in obtaining Fellowship to the organization to become a member by Nov. 30, 2012. IACLE's Fellowship Exam, held every two years, will take place November 2013. All IACLE members are eligible to sit the exam, but must serve a minimum of 12 months before becoming Fellows. New members who join by Nov. 30, 2012 will therefore be eligible for Fellowship immediately upon successful completion of the exam in 2013. Visit www.iacle.org for more information.
Alden Optical Acquires New Facility
Custom and specialty soft and GP lens manufacturer Alden Optical, Inc., has acquired a new manufacturing facility in western New York. The 14,000 square foot facility will significantly increase the production capacity as the company continues to grow in the custom and specialty segment. The company plans to consolidate all manufacturing and administration activities in the new facility by late 2012.
Tom Shone, president, Alden Optical, said the new facility provides both the square footage and efficient layout to meet growing demand for the company's existing and new products through the foreseeable future.
New Duette Policies, Fitting
SynergEyes, Inc., recently announced a few changes to policies and fitting procedures concerning its Duette lenses.
The company has retooled its policies and procedures for Duette lenses to make it easier to fit everyday patients. Orlando Rodrigues, vice president of Global Marketing and Sales, said the company made the changes after listening to customer feedback. The new policies, which went into effect at the beginning of August, transformed Duette pricing and return procedures to better align with customers' normal business practices. They include a generous satisfaction guarantee and establish a Reorder Reminder Program to bring Duette patients back to the practice each year to reorder their lenses.
The company also introduced a new fitting approach for Duette lenses called Minutes-to- Fit 2.0. The updated fitting philosophy and methodologies are intended to simplify fitting procedures. With the new approach, the rigid center is fit like a GP lens and the soft skirt is fit like a soft lens. SynergEyes says that the methodology is simple, does not require fluorescein and can fit into even the busiest practice's workflow. An empirical ordering option is also available for practitioners who prefer to avoid diagnostic lenses altogether.
Practitioners interested in fitting Duette lenses with the new approach have a number of ways to be trained on Minutes-to-Fit 2.0. SynergEyes is hosting live webinars, Duette representatives are providing in-practice training, and web-based training is also coming-soon.
|Dry Eye Grant to be Awarded|
|The Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists Education and Research Foundation, in association with the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation, has announced the availability of a Scientific Research Grant for $3,000 intended to provide support for proposals specifically concerned with issues directly related to dry eye and ocular surface disease. Applicants must be working toward an advanced degree doing research in the United States. Visit www.sjogrens.org or www.clao.org. The submission deadline is Nov. 30, 2012.|
|For the Record|
|The 2012 Contact Lenses & Solutions Summary, a supplement to Contact Lens Spectrum, did not list Air Optix Night & Day Aqua (Alcon) among its listings for Therapeutic Spherical Clear and Visibility Tint Hydrogels (bandage contact lenses). Lotrafilcon A lenses were approved for this indication in 2003.|
Vision Expo West Reports Successful Event
Preliminary attendance figures from International Vision Expo West held in Las Vegas in September indicate that 12,077 eyecare professionals attended the event. The exhibit hall attendance came in at 8,209 and was on par with last year's attendance records. The education program delivered 350 hours of education and drew 3,868 eyecare professionals during the four-day event. A complete, third-party audit of International Vision Expo West will be available approximately six weeks after the show.
A record number of show specials, new products, lines and launches were also key drivers at this year's event, according to organizers. Nearly 475 exhibitors offered more than 600 show specials and 5,000 brands, covering all aspects of eye care, eyewear and accessories.
Next year, International Vision Expo West will be held Oct. 2 to 5 in Las Vegas, before returning to its typical late September timeframe for the next seven years. For more information about International Vision Expo West, including event highlights, images and videos, visit www. visionexpowest.com.
|J&J Launches New Practitioner Site|
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. recently launched www.acuvueprofessional.com, a new website designed to function on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. The site includes a new contact lens finder, which was designed to help doctors quickly find the right contact lens for their patients by easily searching through different lens parameters, manufacturers, modalities, and materials. Visitors to the site can also find detailed product information on all Acuvue Brands as well as patient instruction videos that can be embedded in practitioner websites and a variety of practice resources including interactive videos and articles. Practitioners can also sign up for the free “Find a Doctor” interactive online map that will be listed at www.acuvue.com.
Online Contact Lens Search Now Free
TheRightContact.com has announced that its services are now free to eyecare professionals. The registration structure is designed in 12-month cycles. At the end of the year, users need only answer a short survey to renew their account. TheRightContact.com holds a database of more than 2,000 contact lens products from more than 150 manufacturers. Users can search for and review products based on dozens of criteria. In addition to the product information, the website keeps its users informed with news, articles, fitting tools, videos, and social media connections.