Article Date: 12/1/2011

NEWS spectrum

Avaira Recall Now Includes Limited Number of Spheres

CooperVision expanded its worldwide recall of Avaira brand contact lenses to include 6.9 million Avaira Sphere lenses, of which 4.9M were shipped to customers globally. In continued collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the company is expanding the recall because it identified certain lots of Avaira Sphere lenses that did not meet its updated quality requirements due to the level of a silicone oil residue. The residue may cause hazy vision or discomfort, severe eye pain or eye injuries requiring medical treatment.

CooperVision will replace the recalled product with available Avaira Sphere inventory from lots that are not affected by this recall.

In August 2011, CooperVision announced a recall of limited lots of Avaira Toric contact lenses. According to the company, it has identified the issue and has corrected it through its quality system process.

CooperVision is notifying its customers and is asking eyecare practitioners to contact their patients regarding this recall. Communication efforts are focused at eyecare professionals and distributors to effectively reach lens wearers. The company launched a website www.coopervision.com/international-recall so that wearers can enter package lot numbers to determine if their lenses have been recalled. A toll-free consumer hotline is available at (855) 526-6737 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT, Monday through Friday. Patients are being advised to return recalled lenses to the point of purchase or to their eyecare practitioners.

Adverse events related to the use of this product should be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm), via regular mail or via fax (800) FDA-0178.

Contact Lens Industry Expanding in Asian Markets

Contact lens sales in key markets in Asia have been registering consistent growth in the first three quarters of 2011, with third quarter sales hitting more than 131 million pieces valued at more than $211 million, according to the GfK Group, a global market research firm. The industry saw positive growth across all seven Asian markets—Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and China. Unit sales in Taiwan average 14.5 million pieces per month, while the biggest spenders are the Koreans, spending more than $26 million on contact lenses on a monthly basis.

Menicon Launches New Daily Disposable In Unique Packaging

Menicon Co. Ltd. introduced a new daily disposable contact lens, Magic, at the company’s Magic Store concept shop in Tokyo last month. The Magic lens is packaged in a unique wafer-thin, hygienic flat pack, using Menicon’s proprietary technology. Nationwide marketing in Japan will begin next spring.

Magic’s novel packaging measures 12.5 percent of the thickness and 40 percent of the volume of conventional lens packaging, according to the company. The Magic flat pack sandwiches the contact lenses lightly but securely between two specially designed foil sheets. This enables printing on both sides, something not possible with conventional packaging.

Magic is the first contact lens in Japan to be made from HEMA-GMA (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-glycerol methacrylate). According to the company, the chemistry of GMA attracts water molecules for high wettability and all-day comfort. The Magic lens has a base curve of 8.60mm and a diameter of 14.2mm. Production is underway at the company’s factory in Singapore. To view a video, go to www.youtube.com/user/MeniconMagic.

Eye Shelter and Menicon Partner on SOLO-care Brands in EEA and Canada

Menicon will become the exclusive partner of Eye Shelter to market SOLO-care brand contact lens solutions in member states of the European Economic Area and Canada. According to Menicon, the agreement will enable it to establish new affiliates in countries where Menicon products have not been available, particularly markets in the Nordic countries, Eastern Europe and Canada. Company officials say they expect to reach considerably more eyecare practitioners with a broader range of products, and thereby, better meet the needs of contact lens wearers in Europe and Canada.

Menicon will assume distribution of the SOLO-care and AQuify brands as soon as all regulatory assignments have been completed between Ciba Vision (former owner of the SOLOcare and AQuify products in territories included in the scope of this partnership) and Eye Shelter, which is expected on March 31, 2012. In the interim, according to the company, all parties concerned will work closely to effect a smooth transition of the distribution business to Menicon.

Study Highlights Effects of Poor Vision on Night Driving

A new study sheds light on the dangers of nighttime driving with poor vision. Nearly one of every three drivers on the road (32 percent) say they have difficulty seeing all or most of the time while driving in the dark, according to a nationwide survey of 515 vision-corrected Americans aged 18 and older. The study was conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of Road & Travel Magazine and Acuvue Brand Contact Lenses (Vistakon). More than one fourth (26 percent) report they have trouble seeing signs or exits; one-fifth (20 percent) acknowledge difficulty seeing animals or pedestrians, and more than one in five (22 percent) report problems judging distance while driving in the dark.

While 73 percent of survey respondents believe that correcting their vision problems could improve their nighttime driving, according to the survey, only 27 percent have ever consulted an eyecare professional about treatments or products that could improve their vision while driving in the dark.

To view the survey findings, visit www.acuvue.com/pdf/SheddingLightonDrivinginthedarkexecsum.pdf.

SECO Invites Course Proposals
SECO International LLC is accepting course proposals for SECO 2013 through March 11, 2012. Potential presenters are encouraged to submit one and two-hour courses or workshops for both optometrist and allied ophthalmic professional programs. SECO 2013 will be held Feb. 27 to March 3, 2013, in Atlanta.

WEB UPDATE
Vistakon Adds New Features to Acuvue Ordering Site
Vistakon has given its e-commerce website a facelift, adding features to enhance the ordering experience for Acuvue Brand Contact lenses and to provide more tools for eyecare professionals to manage information about patients. New features include: streamlined navigation, more patient management tools, ease of entry on direct ship orders and additional payment options. Visit www.orderacuvue.com or call 1-800-876-4596.

The Vision Care Institute Launches ODLean Facebook page
The ODLean program at The Vision Care Institute LLC has launched the ODLean Facebook page. The site provides commentary, key learnings and industry trends from ODLean experts on the topics of productivity, marketing and patient experience. It also features weekly practice management and marketing tips, and it serves as a discussion forum for optometrists, ophthalmologists and their staff. Visit www.facebook.com/odlean.

INDUSTRY BRIEFS

Unilens Vision Inc., Largo, Fla., named No. 7 Contact Lens Laboratory Ltd., based in Hastings, UK, the exclusive distributor in the United Kingdom for the Unilens C-Vue Advanced HydraVUE family of custom silicone hydrogel lenses. No. 7 will also serve as a C-Vue Advanced HydraVUE distributor for the European Union countries.

Metro Optics, Austin, Texas, will manufacture and distribute Dakota Sciences’ So2Clear Lens technology in North America.

Dakota Sciences, Sioux Falls, S.D, has appointed iCon United Corp., Taipei, Taiwan, master distributor of the SoClear Lens designs for the Asia region.

Heidelberg Engineering’s technical services division recently moved into a new facility in Smithfield, R.I. The new space nearly doubles the previous facility’s square footage. According to the company, the continued expansion comes after four years of double-digit growth.

■ The Ophthalmic Women Leaders (OWL) appointed Jan Beiting the organization’s new president. Marsha Link, PhD, was named Vice President/President-Elect.

■ The Doctor of Optometry program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has been granted preliminary approval by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education. Scheduled to open in August 2012 with 64 students at each level, the school will be located at the Lincoln Square Living and Learning Center in Worcester. It will be the 21st school of optometry in the United States.

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) updated its guidance on competencies expected of students graduating from optometry degree programs. The attributes are classified into three areas: 1) professional values and ethics, 2) knowledge, and 3) skill. The full report can be accessed at www.opted.org.

Alcon Inc. has launched the Openings Patient Support Program (www.OpeningsProgram.com) for patients with open-angle glaucoma. The website offers support materials to help patients with high intraocular pressure to overcome hurdles to treatment adherence.

■ Results from the American Optometric Association's 2011 American Eye-Q consumer survey revealed that 55 percent of people are unaware that diabetic eye disease often has no visual signs or symptoms. Additionally, 44 percent of Americans don’t know that a person with diabetes should have a comprehensive eye examination once a year. African Americans and Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes as Caucasians.

RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. announced positive data from its Phase 2 clinical trial with RGN-259, a sterile, preservative-free eye drop for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

STAAR Surgical Company announced it has received CE Mark approval for its nanoFLEX Toric Collamer Single Piece IOL.

Presbia announced its preliminary 12-month post-market surveillance study of patients implanted with the Flexivue Microlens, a corneal inlay treatment for presbyopia. The results showed significant improvement in near visual acuity in all patients, with 78 percent no longer using reading glasses to see objects up close.



Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: December 2011