Article Date: 6/1/2011

Contact Lens Management Report Updated
NEWS spectrum

Contact Lens Management Report Updated

The Management & Business Academy (MBA), sponsored by Ciba Vision and Essilor and endorsed by the American Optometric Association, has updated its “Best Practices of Contact Lens Management” and its “Best Practices of Spectacle Lens Management” reports.

The reports discuss critical management topics for each device category, providing current optometric practice performance benchmarks, projections of revenue gains from process improvements, and concrete management techniques to increase revenue and patient satisfaction. Each report also includes extensive quantitative analyses drawn from MBA practice performance surveys among private practice optometrists and from proprietary research from the sponsor companies.

The 28-page report “Best Practices of Contact Lens Management” includes sections on upgrading the product mix, retail pricing and gross profit margin maximization, transaction cost reduction, managing in-office inventory, patient recall and annual supply sales strategies, and increasing the contact lens wearer base.

Both reports can be downloaded from www.mba-ce.com.

Akorn to Acquire AVR

Akorn, Inc., a niche generic pharmaceutical company, has entered into an agreement to acquire Advanced Vision Research, Inc. (AVR), the maker of TheraTears and Macu-Trition, for $26 million in cash on hand.

AVR was founded in 1995 by the late Jeffrey P. Gilbard, MD, with its lead products developed in the clinics and laboratories of Harvard University's Schepens Eye Research Institute. In 2010, AVR generated sales of $20 million, which consisted of domestic sales through major retail chains and sales in 20 countries across five continents.

Akorn also announced plans to launch a new Consumer Health Division to enter the OTC eyecare market, pending the acquisition of AVR. The company plans to further expand by licensing new products and developing private-labeled eyecare products for major retailers.

Akorn named Bruce Kutinsky, PharmD, as its president of the newly formed Consumer Health Division. Mr. Kutinsky joined Akorn as its senior vice president of Corporate Strategy in 2010.

“We have had a relationship with AVR for several years,” said Raj Rai, CEO. “With the acquisition, we can add value in future growth as we have an existing sales infrastructure that markets products to ophthalmologists, optometrists, and retailers nationwide complementing AVR's sales initiatives.”

Group to Advance Ortho-k Globally

The formation of a new International Academy of Orthokeratology (IAO) was announced at Vision By Design 2011, the annual conference of the Orthokeratology Academy of America (OAA) that was held April 28 to May 1 in Orlando, Fla.

The IAO brings together ortho-k organizations from America (OAA) as well from Europe and Asia. It is designed to promote and advance corneal reshaping worldwide through education and research presentations at meetings held around the world. The first meetings are planned for Europe (Fall 2011), China (March 2012), and Phoenix (April 2012).

Melbourne F. Hovell, PhD, MPH, from the Graduate School of Public Health in San Diego, delivered the keynote speech at the meeting, “Myopia as a Public Health Issue.” The meeting featured more than 25 hours of COPE-approved CE on corneal reshaping and rehabilitation. The international faculty included Patrick Caroline, Dr. John Mountford, Dr. Sami El Hage, Randy Kojima, Dr. Jerry Legerton, Dr. Hsiao Ching Tung, Dr. Charl Laas, Dr. Chris Eksteen, Dr. Eddie Chow, Dr. Helen Changmin Duan, Dr. Pei-Ying Xie, Dr. Iwane Mitsui, Dr. Antonio Calossi, Dr. Jacinto Santodomingo, Russell Lowe, and others. Also featured was a comprehensive “Bootcamp for Newcomers” in corneal reshaping as well as a number of workshops and breakout sessions.

The Academy also honored Dr. Mountford with a Research Fellowship (FOAA) for his work in developing the innovative BE retainer design and Dr. Legerton with the Outstanding Achievement in Orthokeratology Award for his contributions to the field of corneal reshaping including the Paragon CRT lens design.

Studies Point to Noncompliance

Findings from two independent, sponsor-masked online surveys, sponsored by Vistakon, of frequent replacement contact lens wearers suggest a number of missteps that occur before, during, and after contact lens wear. The respondents, aged 12 to 39 years old, represented wearers of two-week or monthly hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lenses available in the United States.

Nearly half of survey respondents admitted to not washing their hands with soap prior to lens application (44 percent) and removal (49 percent). In addition, few patients rub their lenses with disinfecting solution (27 percent in morning, 25 percent in evening), although this may be due to the “No Rub” on some product packaging. Results also showed generally low compliance with practitioner recommendations on lens replacement frequency. Furthermore, although 75 percent reported that they emptied disinfecting solution from the lens case in the morning, only 46 percent reported that they filled their case with fresh solution instead. The average frequency for cleaning the lens case was two to three times a week; 33 percent said they clean their cases monthly or less often. Most patients reported that their method of cleaning the lens case involved exposure to tap water. The studies also found that the median interval for intended and actual replacement of lens storage cases was four to six months; but 48 percent said they replace their storage case annually or less often.

These findings will be published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye.

Menicon Appoints Marketing Director
Menicon America Inc. announced the appointment of Kurtis Brown as marketing director for Menicon America and Lagado Corporation. Brown reports to David Moreira, Menicon America's vice president of marketing.
With more than 25 years of experience in the contact lens industry, Brown brings a wealth of knowledge to his new position. Most recently, he was Global GP marketing manager for Bausch + Lomb (B+L), where he coordinated worldwide marketing to support B+L's GP materials and lens care business.
In addition to expanding the specialty custom lens market, Brown will also be responsible for raising awareness of Menicon and Lagado products in the professional community.

WEB UPDATE
Contamac Launches New Company Site, New Facility
Contamac Ltd. recently launched its new company Web site at www.contamac.com, designed to update corporate branding, enhance and expand targeted user data, facilitate and measure navigation of the site, and improve access to published articles and product information. The company site also contains information about the new Contamac Centre of Excellence. Just opened last month, it offers a state-of-the-art facility for practitioner training and continuing education, customized product research and development, medical device contract testing and analysis, and a comprehensive staff of scientists and chemists for the development and application of specialty polymers for both intraocular and contact lenses.

GP Specialists Launches New Site
GP Specialists has launched a new Web site at www.gpspecialists.com. The new site offers a comprehensive overview of GP's product offerings, including the Global-OK Vision (GOV) series of orthokeratology lenses and Biocurve custom soft lenses. In addition, the site has online ordering capability. The site also tells you how to find GP Specialists on social media sites including FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube.

INDUSTRY BRIEFS
SynergEyes, Inc. has announced the addition of a new patient-focused astigmatism video to the Eyemaginations practitioner video libraries, 3-D Eye Office and LUMA. The video explains astigmatism and discusses the benefits of the Duette hybrid lens compared to other modalities. SynergEyes recently announced that Duette has been prescribed to more than 3,000 patients in 700 practices across 47 states since it became available nationwide on Jan. 1, 2011.
VSP Vision Care and Vistakon now offer an exclusive satisfaction guarantee on Acuvue Brand contact lenses for VSP members. Members with contact lens coverage can try Acuvue lenses and if they are not satisfied, up to $60 of their benefit will be reinstated as long as their eyecare professional contacts VSP within 30 days of the start of the trial. Members can use their reinstated benefit toward glasses or a replacement of their current contact lenses.
C & E Vision Services, Inc. held its second of three annual Ocular Symposiums last month. Nearly 500 eyecare professionals attended. C & E says the symposiums are designed to support C & E members with the expansion and scope of their practices to medically based practices. Topics included glaucoma as well as ocular emergencies and posterior corneal disorders, and attendees earned eight hours of COPE credit. Information about upcoming seminars is available at www.cevision.com.
TearLab Corporation has been granted a new patent titled “Biomarker Normalization.” According to TearLab, this patent provides the company with broad intellectual property regarding the ability to compensate for first order dynamics in the eye, which is fundamental to accurate tear biomarker analysis. The patent allows TearLab to build upon its non-invasive in vitro diagnostic platform to expand testing beyond tear film osmolarity for dry eye.
SarCode Corporation recently presented data showing that in a Phase 2 dry eye trial, subjects receiving the company's SAR 1118 demonstrated a reduction in corneal staining, increased tear production, and improved visual-related function as compared to a placebo. SAR 1118 is a first-in-class topically administered small molecule integrin antagonist that inhibits T-cell mediated inflammation.
■ Last month, representatives from Bausch + Lomb and Lions Clubs International Foundation awarded the Tianjin Eye Hospital a $150,000 grant to finance a specialized pediatric cataract training initiative. The grant is made possible through the Pediatric Cataract Initiative, which identifies, funds and promotes innovative methods for overcoming visual impairments caused by pediatric cataracts.
Pacific University's College of Optometry has established the Dr. Robert M. Lohr Scholarship Fund in honor of the late alumnus, made possible by a gift of $100,000 from the Robert and Mary Lohr Trust. The fund will support a scholarship for a Pacific optometry student who is pursuing a career in optometry after being employed in a different profession. Dr. Lohr himself was a pharmacist before he became an optometrist.


Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: June 2011