CLS Under New Ownership
Springer Adis US LLC announced the asset purchase of its Vision Care Group of media and events, including Contact Lens Spectrum magazine and its email newsletter Contact Lenses Today, by a new company formed by the Vision Care Group’s publishing management team. The new company, PentaVision LLC, is based in Ambler, Pa. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
PentaVision will continue to produce all Vision Care Group conferences and electronic products, as well as the six magazines in its portfolio: Contact Lens Spectrum, Eyecare Business, Ophthalmology Management, Optometric Management, Ophthalmic Professional, and Retinal Physician. The PentaVision management includes Mark Durrick, Douglas Parry, Robert Verna, and Roger Zimmer, who operated units within the Vision Care Group at Springer. In addition, Thomas J. Wilson, a former owner of the Vision Care Group with BCI until 1999, will act as president of PentaVision and managing member of the LLC.
Springer acquired the Vision Care Group in December 2011 as part of a larger divisional acquisition from Wolters Kluwer.
|ABB Concise and ODG Merge|
■ ABB Concise and Optical Distributor Group (ODG) recently merged effective Dec. 28, 2012. Customers will continue communicating with the same customer service and sales representatives with each company that they had prior to the merger. Business will remain as usual.
This merger brings together over 120 sales professionals. Together the companies supply more than 30,000 ECPs with brand name contact lenses, finished ophthalmic lenses, fully customizable GP and custom specialty soft lenses, and the services of ODG’s Digital Eye Lab. They also offer pricing strategy tools, Business Reviews, Annual Supply Staff Training, and e-commerce solutions.
■ Following the sale of its soft lens distribution business (Bausch + Lomb, Ciba Vision, CooperVision, Hydrogel, and Vistakon) to ABB Concise three years ago, X-Cel Contacts felt that a smooth transition for customers was important and for that reason continued to provide customer service and invoicing for these distributed products during this time. Effective Dec. 31, 2012, customers can no longer place distributed soft lens orders through X-Cel. Orders for distributed product should now be placed directly with ABB Concise.
■ The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has announced that online registration is now open for the 37th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition, to be held June 6 to 9 at Manchester Central, UK. Those who register before March 8 will receive an early bird discount on their chosen delegate package. Once again, in association with its 2013 exhibitors, the BCLA is offering 100 free weekend packages that include a Saturday and Sunday delegate pass, one Gala Dinner ticket, and Saturday night accommodation at a designated hotel. For terms and conditions of all offers, visit www.bcla.org.uk.
■ Vision Source recently announced that Jim Greenwood assumed the position of president and chief operating officer effective Jan. 7th. Greenwood joins the executive team after serving as CEO of Concentra for more than five years. He will report to Vision Source CEO and Founder Glenn Ellisor, OD. Greenwood serves on the Board of Directors for Epic Health Services, Inc. and the Baylor University Healthcare Administration Program’s Advisory Council.
■ Bausch + Lomb has acquired an exclusive global license to a new platform technology that may lead to a faster, more effective and longer lasting treatment for ocular redness. The technology employs a different mechanism of action to relieve ocular redness than currently available redness relief products, using a uniquely formulated low dose of brimonidine. Licensed from Eye Therapies, LLC, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, the technology was developed in collaboration with Ora Inc., a private research organization.
■ TearScience, Inc. recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared additional features and broadened the indication for use of the company’s LipiView Ocular Surface Interferometer. TearScience can now claim that LipiView measures the absolute thickness of the tear film lipid layer in nanometers. LipiView’s broadened indication for use is a result of the FDA clearing LipiView’s second-generation software. LipiView v2.0 software will be available to all new customers, with current customers to be upgraded by the second quarter of 2013.
■ More than 6,000 residents in New York and New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy received a free eye exam and, if needed, glasses through relief efforts provided by VSP Vision Care. Examinations were provided by local VSP optometrists whose offices were closed due to the storm’s effects. VSP paid these doctors to ensure they had a form of income while their businesses were being rebuilt.
Walmart and Sam’s Club Launch Contact Lens Program
Walmart and Sam’s Club have announced an all new online and phone contact lens program as well as reduced prices on many top contact lenses. This February, Walmart also plans to launch its own private Equate brand of contact lenses. Contact lenses are not available in Arkansas stores and clubs. Walmart Vision Centers are not available in Oklahoma, Delaware, or Rhode Island.
Walmart customers can now visit Walmart Contacts.com or call (800) 741-LENS (5367), and Sam’s Club members can now visit SamsClub .com/contacts or call (800) 749-LENS (5367) to place lens orders and have them delivered directly to their home. Free shipping is available on orders over $50 for Walmart Contacts and over $45 for Sam’s Club Contacts.
Walmart reported on www.walmartcontacts.com that the company and 1-800 Contacts mutually decided to end their four-year business relationship effective Jan. 1, 2013.
Independent optometrists operate private offices next to more than 3,000 Walmart Vision Centers and Sam’s Club Optical Centers to provide eye exams, lens fitting, and prescriptions by appointment and on a walk-in basis. In addition, Walmart and Sam’s Club have on-site opticians in the Vision Centers and Optical Centers to assist with fitting glasses in store or in club. Neither Walmart nor Sam’s Club is licensed to make eye examinations as a dispensing company.
New Senior VP at SynergEyes
SynergEyes, Inc., announced that James Kirchner, OD, has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Clinical and Professional Services.
According to the company, Dr. Kirchner will provide professional leadership of product development and product management and represent SynergEyes to the eyecare professional community, interfacing with key organizations on the company’s behalf. His responsibilities will include developing and executing educational and marketing plans, developing programs to capture the voices of various key opinion leaders, and educating optometric students on the Duette family of lenses. As the practitioner member on the senior management team, he will advise on matters related to the eyecare profession and contact lenses.
|Scleral Lens System Launches|
Valley Contax introduced its Custom Stable scleral lens system at the Global Specialty Lens Symposium in Las Vegas in January.
According to the company, the Custom Stable System offers practitioners an easy and consistent means of fitting scleral lenses with better visual acuity and comfort than traditional corneal GP lenses. The Custom Stable lenses are initially being offered in three sizes: 15mm, 16mm, and 18mm, including near zone and reverse geometry versions. All include production characteristics such as digital radial edge profiling, laser etching, plasma treatment, and NIMO analysis that make them easier to fit and wear, according to the company. The system also includes an advanced fitting toolkit, support media, marketing tools, and a carrying case and tools for patients upon delivery.
AOS Accepting Award Submissions
The American Optometric Society is now accepting submissions for its 3rd Annual Dr. Harvey Yamamoto Award. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a graduating optometry student based on an original essay. This year’s topic is, “How can Social Media be used in the Optometric Practice to improve patient care and outcomes?”
To be eligible for the award, the student must be a senior scheduled to graduate in 2013 from an ACOE-accredited school or college of optometry. Essays should be no more than 1,500 words in length, double-spaced, in a font of 11 to 13 point size with margins of at least 1 inch. Submissions are made by emailing a PDF of the essay to Yamamoto-Award@optometric society.org, with a copy to Joel@optometric society.org, before midnight PST on March 1, 2013. If applicants do not receive an automated acknowledgement of receipt within one hour of submission, they are advised to check the email address and resend. Applicants may cancel and submit a new entry any time prior to the entry deadline, but only one submission will be accepted per applicant.
The winner will be presented with a check, plaque, and membership in the AOS at its annual CE meeting at the Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio, Texas, on April 12 to 14. For more information, contact Joel Rothschild, administrator, American Optometric Society, at Joel@optometricsociety.org or (805) 768-4267. Applicants may also visit www.optometricsociety.org.
|New Lens Added to Grant Eligibility|
Contamac US announced the addition of the Soft K lens design for keratoconus as the latest lens design earning grant revenue for the Keratoconus Foundation. Contamac US donates a portion of the sale of every keratoconus lens made in its Definitive silicone hydrogel material to the Keratoconus Foundation.
Marty Dalsing, president of Contamac US, said the company has been pleased to see the size of the grant grow as the prescribing rate of oxygen permeable soft lenses for keratoconus increases. With the addition of the Soft K lens as a “grant eligible” design, he said he expects the support for the Foundation to increase even more.
The Soft K design for keratoconus and irregular corneas is manufactured and sold by Advanced Vision Technologies.