contact lens care
Lens Care Products Returning to Market
BY MICHAEL A. WARD, MMSC, FAAO
I mentioned in my January column that last year Alcon Laboratories, Inc. made a business decision to discontinue its Unique-pH multipurpose solution for GP lenses. Following numerous practitioner and patient inquiries, Alcon recently decided to reintroduce Unique-pH. It's now available for sale through amazon.com and drugstore.com. Additionally, practitioners and labs can purchase the product directly from Alcon, but there is a minimum purchase requirement. Unique-pH starter kits are not available.
Alcon has also reintroduced its SupraClens liquid enzymatic cleaner. The box has new graphics (Figure 1), but the product features the same formulation of pancreatin-based enzymatic cleaner. Enzyme availability has dramatically diminished in the last two years due to a decreasing market demand. SupraClens' reintroduction is welcome for the many patients who require regular enzymatic use.
Figure 1. Alcon's SupraClens is back on the market in new packaging.
CIBA Vision had suffered a reduction in manufacturing capacity when its Ontario, Canada plant went off line a few years ago. The company had to prioritize its manufacturing lines, which led to back orders and non-availability of some lesser demand items. With manufacturing capacity restored, the company has slowly reintroduced these products.
Figure 2. Naturalens RDS is promoted for GPs and piggyback lens systems.
Some products that were previously not available and have since returned to the marketplace include CIBA's Miraflow Extra Strength Cleaner and Softwear Saline. Miraflow is a lipolytic solvent type cleaner for soft and hard lenses that offers unparalleled cleaning and antimicrobial capabilities. Softwear Saline is unique in that it's preserved with perborate generated peroxide (less than 60ppm), which is below ocular sensitivity levels.
Both Miraflow and Softwear Saline products are available through multiple Internet sites and are increasingly available in retail stores. So if you thought they were gone forever, it's time to look again. Practitioners may order these products directly from CIBA. The company does not provide samples of these products.
Change in Usage
Another product that was approved as a multipurpose solution for both rigid and soft contact lenses is now being promoted primarily as a GP multipurpose product under a different label. Naturalens RDS (Rinsing, Disinfecting and Storage) Multipurpose Contact Lens Solution (Figure 2) is private-labeled and distributed by Advanced Vision Technologies. The company promotes it for use with piggyback lens systems and as an MPS to eliminate the need for a water rinse with GP lenses. It's preserved with edetate disodium dehydrate 0.025% and Polyhexanide 0.0001%.
On the Lookout
We are still waiting for a papain-based proteolytic enzyme cleaner to return to the market. CLS
Mr. Ward is an instructor in ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine and Director, Emory Contact Lens Service.