The Contact Lens Event of 2007
BY CARLA J. MACK, OD, FAAO, EDITOR
Joe Barr's departure from Contact Lens Spectrum and The Ohio State University certainly was shocking to many, if not an "event of the year" to those two organizations. Kidding aside, over time I hope to incorporate subtle changes and improvements to Contact Lens Spectrum and to our weekly e-mail newsletter Contact Lenses Today. However, I do believe it's important to keep two key elements of the January issue of this publication: the "Event of the Year" and our "Annual Report."
I believe the Contact Lens Event of 2007 was the recall of Advanced Medical Optics' Complete MoisturePlus due to a seven times increased risk of developing the very rare Acanthamoeba keratitis. I hope you don't view my choosing this recall and its circumstances as sensationalizing these events. While I won't recount the data and events here, what I do hope you'll see is that we can turn a tragedy for some into an opportunity to improve on a number of fronts.
My thoughts when comparing the Fusarium events of 2006 to the recall announcement of Complete MoisturePlus to now is that the AMO recall was a much smaller blip on the radar screen for practitioners, patients and the media. I also believe that if these recalls hadn't occurred, many, if not most, of our patients would have continued to ignore solution and contact lens care instructions and compliance discussions. Even with both voluntary recalls it remains a struggle to keep care and compliance at the forefront.
I think this most recent solution recall and the 2006 recall present us with opportunity. There's opportunity for practitioners to take the lead in educating not only patients, but also staff on the critical elements of lens care compliance: the importance of recommending specific solutions and why; the need to rub in some cases; the dangers of topping off or re-using solution; and the risks associated with water exposure. Most importantly, it's an opportunity to improve the ocular health of your patients and to create successful, loyal, lifetime contact lens wearers. Furthermore, there's opportunity for industry to innovate and create the most efficacious care products with the health of the end-user as the primary goal.
The FDA and ISO have the opportunity to impact new products with regard to product labeling, preservative uptake, disinfection effectiveness in real-world conditions and silicone hydrogel lens grouping. There's also an opportunity to standardize new requirements to currently marketed products. Industry sources have implied that future recommendations may require a rub step.
So as we take one last glance at 2007, let's also look ahead to what we can improve in this new year. Seize the opportunity!