Whole Not Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts
BY JASON J. NICHOLS, OD, MPH, PHD, FAAO
Over the last several years, we have observed significant mergers and acquisitions in the ophthalmic industry. Many of us go about our daily lives and perhaps don’t give much thought to the impact of these business decisions, other than to stop and think—“Huh? That should be interesting.” However, I think it is time to stop and take moment to reflect on the impact that these scenarios have on our daily lives, not to mention on the lives of our patients.
We know that mergers and acquisitions can have a tremendous impact on the marketplace. In fact, there are entire disciplines and economic scientific methodologies devoted to understanding their impact. Further, most governments also develop merger control guidelines and regulations so that these business decisions, and their impact, can be reviewed from the standpoint of antitrust/competition law. Proposed “safeguards” are in place that are intended to protect against reduced competition.
However, I am not convinced that the ophthalmic market isn’t in jeopardy of losing this ever-so-important competition.