TVCI Announces New Partnership
The Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry (IAUPR) is the sixth optometry school to participate in The Vision Care Institute, LLC's (TVCI) program to extend its professional level training opportunities with distance learning and live programming at on-campus satellite centers.
"Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry is an institution promoting the values of diversity, cultural competence and sharing," says Dr. Hector Santiago, Dean of IAUPR. "The Vision Care Institute, LLC Satellite Center at our school is a state-of-the-art facility that fosters a future in which schools and colleges of optometry and our partners in the ophthalmic industry will be able to share the knowledge of their best experts, the skills and training of their best educators, and the experiences of students and faculty members. The Satellite Center optimizes our capacity to communicate globally which eventually translates into the very best care for all patients."
For more information, please visit www.tvciedu.com.
Three Industry Executives Join B&L
Bausch & Lomb has added three ophthalmic industry veterans to its senior leadership team.
Stuart Heap has joined the company as corporate vice president and global president, Vision Care. He is a former group vice president of CIBA Vision Corporation and president of its Global Contact Lens Division. After departing CIBA Vision in 2002, he served as CEO of healthcare products manufacturers Regent Medical and SSL-Americas.
J. Andy Corley has been named corporate vice president and global president, Surgical Products. Mr. Corley cofounded Eyeonics, the developer of the Crystalens accommodating intraocular lens, which Bausch & Lomb acquired earlier this year.
Michael Gowen is now corporate vice president and executive vice president, Global Business Operations and Process Excellence. He is the former vice president of Global Operations and Supply Chain for the Johnson & Johnson Group of Consumer Companies, and vice president of Global Operations and Supply Chain for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care from 2002 to 2004.
"We're focused on creating long-term value for the organization by stimulating market expansion through innovation, and these executives — alongside our existing senior leadership team — will play a central role in our success," said Gerald M. Ostrov, Bausch & Lomb chairman and CEO.
Koch Joins Contamac
Contamac Ltd has appointed Timothy O. Koch, COT, FCLSA, to the newly created role of VP, Global Professional Services. Contamac says this role acknowledges the company's continued growth and recognizes the need for an expanded level of professional and clinical support for its customer partners.
Koch most recently served as the VP, Professional Services at SynergEyes, Inc. and prior to that as Professional Services Director at Paragon Vision Sciences. With more than 30 years of experience in the eyecare industry, Koch is a well-known author, lecturer and specialist in the contact lens field, and in addition he has experience as a contact lens clinical specialist and as an eyecare clinical administrator.
"Contamac's commitment to their customer's success is profound and I am excited to bring a new level of professional/clinical support to their laboratory partners, eyecare practitioners and ultimately their patients," said Koch.
John McGregor, Managing Director of Contamac Ltd added, "Tim's extensive industry and clinical knowledge will be a valuable asset to the company and our customers, especially at a time when the Contamac team has developed innovative materials designed to fulfill the growing segments of the industry."
AOF Announces Award Winners
The American Optometric Foundation (AOF) recently announced the winners of the 2007-2008 Vistakon Residency Awards. The $4,000 awards are intended to promote post-graduate optometric clinical education by supporting residents who demonstrate talent and commitment in the fields of children's vision and contact lenses. The 2007-2008 winners are:
DR. TERRANCE INGRAHAM PEDIATRIC OPTOMETRY RESIDENCY AWARDS
New Study on Soft Lenses and Myopia Progression
Results of a three-year study presented at the recent annual meeting of the Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology (ARVO) indicate that soft contact lens wear does not accelerate the development of nearsightedness in children. The multi-site wearing trial study tracked the myopic progression of 484 children ages 8 to 11 randomly assigned to wear glasses or contact lenses. Researchers found no clinically meaningful difference between the two forms of vision correction for myopia.
The new research further dispels the myth that soft contact lens wear increases myopia correction more than other vision correction options do.
"Recent clinical studies have demonstrated that contact lenses provide a number of quality of life benefits to children beyond simply correcting their myopia," says Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, from The Ohio State University College of Optometry and leader of the Adolescent and Child Health Initiative to Encourage Vision Empowerment (ACHIEVE) Study, of which this research is a part. "The combined body of research should give both doctors and parents greater confidence in presenting children with the option of contact lens wear when vision correction is required."
The ACHIEVE Study was supported by funding from Vistakon.
PCO Becomes a University
The Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) in Elkins Park, PA, will officially make the transition from a college to a university in July and will adopt the name Salus University. Salus, a Latin word for health and well-being, was unanimously adopted by the Board of Trustees as an expression of the institution's dedication to the preservation of the health and well-being of the communities its graduates serve.
"The university's name supports the institution's vision of an academic community that emphasizes a holistic approach to education, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, and includes a commitment to interdisciplinary learning," said Thomas L. Lewis, OD, PhD, Salus University President.
Over the past 25 years, the College has broadened its focus to include other disciplines and currently offers a total of seven graduate and two professional degrees. In addition to the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, PCO today is comprised of the PCO School of Audiology, four programs in Graduate Studies in Vision Impairment and a Physician Assistant program. For more information, visit www.salus.edu.
Survey Evaluates Consumer Presbyopia Awareness
A new survey sponsored by CooperVision that was conducted by Harris Interactive found that 83 percent of adults 18 years and older in the United States are not aware of the vision condition presbyopia.
The survey also found that only 27 percent of U.S. adults 18 years and older expect to need bifocals or reading glasses, when in reality there is no way for people to avoid the condition.
"We've set out to raise awareness around presbyopia by providing eyecare practitioners with educational materials and other tools that will help them inform their patients of the condition," said Doug Brayer, marketing manager at CooperVision. "We do want people to know that they do have contact lens options that can help them grow older more gracefully."
Harris Interactive fielded the study on behalf of CooperVision from Feb. 8 to 12, 2008, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,075 U.S. adults 18 years and older.
Tru-Form Optics Files Against Blanchard■ In February 2008, Tru-Form Optics, Inc. filed a law-suit in the Northern District of Texas against Blanchard Contact Lens, Inc. The suit charges Blanchard with infringing Tru-Form's rights in U.S. Patent No. 7,296,890 titled, "Contact Lens with Controlled Shape" by making, using, offering to sell and selling products that embody one or more claims of the patent. This patent covers the Tru-Form Optics' QuadraKone product and its associated intellectual property.
Blanchard Contact Lens, Inc. is currently reviewing the patent and the prior art. "We do not believe that we are infringing, as we have been offering some of the designs mentioned in the patent well before the patent was filed. Blanchard Contact Lens firmly intends to stand up for what we believe is right for our practitioners and patients alike," says Jean Blanchard, president of Blanchard Contact Lens, Inc.
The lawsuit is pending.
|■ CLMA Offers New GP Fitter Locator Program|
The Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA) now offers a new program, the GP Fitter Locator, on the Gas Permeable Lens Institute Web site at www.gpli.info. The searchable database is available for GP fitters to make referrals to fitters in other regions in the United States. The program is planned to grow to include a GP fitter locator for consumers at www.contactlenses.org so that patients can easily locate a GP fitter within their geographical area. Eyecare professionals are welcomed to submit information (including their listing of expertise as bifocal/multifocal fitter, irregular cornea fitter and orthokeratology/corneal reshaping fitter) for inclusion in this database of GP lens fitters.
|■ Alcon has resumed production of Unique-pH multipurpose solution for GP lenses as a result of numerous patient inquiries. The product had been discontinued last year. Unique-pH will be available for retail sale through amazon.com and drugstore.com, and practitioners and laboratory distributors can purchase the product from Alcon as long as minimum purchase requirements are met. Starter kits are not available.|
■ The New York Children's Vision Coalition presented this year's Optical Leadership Award at its Eyes of the Future Annual Gala Reception and Dinner to Naomi Kelman, president, Vistakon Americas. The award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the industry, has shown a strong commitment to children's vision issues and has generously supported the mission and programs of the Coalition. Vistakon will sponsor the Coalition's First Annual Policy Platform Conference on Kids' Vision Policies this fall.
■ CooperVision has named Jeffrey A. McLean executive vice president of commercial strategies. McLean previously served as president of CooperVision's Americas region. In his new role, McLean will be responsible for managing CooperVision's global commercial strategies, including the seamless integration of marketing, product development, manufacturing and sales across the organization. The company has not yet named a successor to lead the Americas region.
CooperVision also recently appointed Juan Carlos Aragon to the position of president, Asia Pacific. Aragon joined the company in 2000 and most recently served as president, Latin America.
■ Paragon Vision Sciences has reported an increase in inquiries from doctors, consumers and distributors worldwide for its Paragon CRT, coming on the heels of the FDA's April hearing about the safety of LASIK surgery that included LASIK surgeons and disgruntled post-LASIK patients. The company says Paragon CRT provides similar visual benefits to LASIK while also being temporary and reversible.
■ Newer-generation fluoroquinolones gatifloxacin, levofloxacin and moxifloxacin show virtually identical susceptibility patterns across the most common ocular pathogens and are also effective against most of these organisms, according to findings from the Ocular TRUST (Tracking Resistance in the U.S. Today) study that were presented at the recent ARVO meeting. Ocular TRUST is supported by a grant from Vistakon Pharmaceuticals, LLC.
■ Advanced Medical Optics has received FDA clearance for the iFS Advanced Femtosecond Laser. The company says the new inverted bevel-in side cut angle is designed to provide a virtually effortless flap lift, increase post-operative flap adhesion and enhance the biomechanical stability of the post-LASIK cornea. It also can produce an elliptical flap and includes IntraLase-Enabled Keratoplasty.
■ Nearly 200 optometrists made Optometry Giving Sight their International Charity of Choice at the Vision Source North American Meeting in April, raising almost $100,000 for people who are blind or vision impaired due to uncorrected refractive error.
■ The International Society of Contact Lens Specialists awarded the Society's highest award, the Herschel Medal, to Dr. William J. Benjamin at its April awards banquet.
■ CooperVision has continued its support of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired-Goodwill Industries of Greater Rochester (ABVI-Goodwill) through the Share the Vision program, donating more than $17,000 to the program over the past year. ABVI-Goodwill helps support residents of the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region who lack access to professional eyecare services.
■ The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the leading patient organization for people with asthma and allergies, is offering a free educational brochure titled "Eye Health and Allergies, which can be viewed or downloaded at www.aafa.org. The brochure, supported by 1•Day Acuvue Moist (Vistakon) offers advice for how to better manage ocular allergy and includes seasonal strategies for lens wearers.