Board Certification Passes
At the American Optometric Association's (AOA) annual meeting on Friday June 26, following about eight hours of deliberations and discussions, members voted 1,126 to 887 in favor of participating in the creation of the American Board of Optometry (ABO), and to recommend — with several changes — that the ABO follow a model for optometric board certification that was developed by the Joint Board Certification Project Team (JBCPT). The AOA is one of six optometric organizations that formed the JBCPT in 2007 to examine the issue of optometric board certification and propose a model for certification and maintenance of certification that is attainable, credible, and defensible.
"Our members' actions…indicate that optometrists see the need for a mechanism to clearly demonstrate continued competency to patients, legislators, and payers," said Randy Brooks, OD, president of the AOA. "The creation of the American Board of Optometry will provide a unified national platform to establish and demonstrate competency and value and will position our profession solidly for the future."
The approval process of certification includes board certification and maintenance of certification for optometry and authorizes the AOA to participate in the development, formation, implementation, and governance of the ABO and will give the ABO the authority to officially develop the model for board certification.
"The next step is to clarify exactly what was approved," said Dr. Brooks. "Most significantly, the motion calls for the American Board of Optometry to base its plan 'predominantly' on the JBCPT model and for granting increased point credit for 'Experience in Practice' toward qualification to take the initial certification examination. After the ABO is formed, it is likely it will make some additional refinements, based on further input from the profession."
The entire resolution is available on the AOA's Web site at www.aoa.org. Formal adoption of this resolution is subject to final action by the AOA's Judicial Council.
FDA Taking Steps to Improve CL Safety
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it is working to improve contact lens safety by working with consumers, practitioners, and manufacturers.
The FDA has developed a new video on contact lens safety, available on the FDA's Web site (www.fda.gov), along with an in-depth Consumer Update article. The video and the article stress the importance of emptying the solution out of the contact lens case after each use and using the rub-and-rinse method for added effectiveness.
In early 2009, the FDA convened a workshop called "Microbiological Testing of Contact Lens Care Products," in collaboration with several eyecare professional groups, to develop consensus on test methods for evaluating contact lens solutions. Based on discussions from this workshop and from a 2008 meeting of the agency's advisory panel for ophthalmic devices, the FDA is developing manufacturer guidance on potential labeling changes for these products.
In May 2009, the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health issued a letter to manufacturers of contact lens multipurpose solution products that include an option for cleaning without a step for rubbing the lenses. This letter informed these manufacturers of the panel's conclusion that there is improvement in lens care when using a rub-and-rinse regimen as compared to a rinse-alone regimen, which omits the rubbing step. The direction to rub and rinse contact lenses, based on the advice of an eyecare professional, has always been part of the labeling for multipurpose contact lens care products.
B&L Spotlights ReNu, SofLens DD
Bausch & Lomb has announced a renewed focus on its ReNu brand of lens care solutions through a U.S. consumer needbased rebranding effort that introduces practitioners and consumers to ReNu Fresh Lens Comfort and ReNu Sensitive Eyes.
To support its renewed commitment to lens care solutions and other eyecare products, B&L has also established a dedicated U.S. sales force called the Eye Care Specialist (ECS) team. Tasked with reaching out to the medical community and driving engagement, the ECS team is currently focusing on reaching eyecare practitioners in the eastern half of the United States. The program may also expand to the western half of the country next year. The team is primarily responsible for engaging with eyecare practitioners and keeping them updated on the benefits of B&L products for their patients and their practice.
To support the introduction of ReNu Fresh Lens Comfort, formerly ReNu MultiPlus, B&L has launched a fully integrated consumer marketing campaign that includes the Web site www.renufresh.com, a free-standing advertising insert (FSI) distributed in newspapers nationally, in-store shelf talkers and banners, and an online advertising and search keyword campaign. The site features lens care information and tips for consumers and includes a Bausch & Lomb Wear & Care video and a coupon for Fresh Lens Comfort.
To support the rebranding of the Sensitive Eyes solution, formerly ReNu Multi-Purpose Solution, B&L will also launch a similar fully integrated consumer campaign campaign that includes the Web site www.renu.com.
B&L has also initiated a national consumer online marketing campaign surrounding the U.S. launch of SofLens Daily Disposable contact lenses. This multi-faceted campaign targets adults ages 25 to 34 and is designed to generate knowledge and interest in the benefits of wearing daily disposable lenses.
The online campaign drives consumers to www.soflens.com where they can participate in a number of limited-time promotions, including a free trial offer for SofLens Daily Disposable lenses. Through an interactive demonstration, site visitors also can discover for themselves how the High Definition Optics in the lens help reduce the appearance of blurriness, halos, and glare. The site also features a "doctor locator" function.
Vistakon Names New President
Vistakon has named Dave Brown its new president, Vistakon, Americas. In his new role, Mr. Brown will be responsible for the Vistakon United States and Canadian businesses.
In 2006, Mr. Brown joined Johnson & Johnson Vision Care as vice president, World Wide Vision Care Franchise. During his tenure, he introduced products including Acuvue Oasys for Presbyopia and Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism.
Before Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., Mr. Brown served in several Johnson & Johnson companies. In 1998, he joined Independence Technology, LLC as vice president, Sales & Marketing. In 2003, he became general manager, OrthoNeutrogena, division of Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.
In Memory of Dr. Pat Cummings
Pat Cummings, OD, FAAO, Vistakon America's Region vice president, Professional Development Group, was killed on July 11 when a private plane in which he was a passenger crashed in St. Johns County, Fla.
Dr. Cummings graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry and was a member of a private group practice in Sheridan, Wyo. He served as a consulting optometrist at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Sheridan for more than 20 years and was on staff at the Sheridan County Memorial Hospital. He also served as an adjunct clinical faculty member at Pacific University College of Optometry. Dr. Cummings joined Vistakon in December 2003.
Dr. Cummings was a member of the Aerospace Medical Association and a charter member of the American Optometric Association's Contact Lens & Cornea Section and its Sports Vision Section. He was elected to the AOA Board of Trustees in 1994 and served as its 81st president in 2002-2003. The Sheridan College presented the Golden Opportunity Outstanding Alumni Award to him in 1998. Dr. Cummings was also recognized twice as the Wyoming Optometrist of the Year and as the Great Western Optometrist in 2000. He was a member of the Florida Optometric Association and the Northeast Florida Optometric Society.
"Pat Cummings was a skilled doctor, a gifted leader of the AOA, a powerful voice for the profession in his work at Vistakon, and a tireless champion for public health," said AOA President Randy Brooks, OD. Dr. Brooks particularly noted Dr. Cummings' work on the AOA's Healthy Eyes Healthy People and the InfantSEE programs. He said, "He used his leadership skills and passion in service of those who were most in need. In doing so, he raised up our whole profession."
"Pat was an extraordinary man, widely respected and admired by his colleagues and peers. He will be greatly missed by those of us who knew him," said Dave Brown, president Vistakon Americas.
A scholarship fund has been established by the AOA in Cummings' honor. Donations may be sent to: Dr. Pat and Patrick Cummings Memorial Fund, Optometry's Charity, AOA National Office, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, Mo.
■ SynergEyes, Inc. has been issued two new patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The first has an extensive claim set of 27 claims and provides protection for aspheric geometries within the landing area, which includes the just-launched ClearKone and other subsequent design evolutions. In addition, the patent claims the use of a diagnostic set to fit high-Dk hybrid contact lenses and the use of fluorescein to evaluate the fit of a high-Dk hybrid contact lens. The second patent controls modulating skirt curves per base curve.|
■ Data drawn from the ACHIEVE study, a three-year multi-site study assessing the effects of glasses and contact lenses on the self-perception of nearsighted children ages 8 to 11, indicate that contact lenses improve the overall self-worth and self esteem of girls. ACHIEVE sponsor Vistakon reports that the research further demonstrates the value-added benefits of contact lens wear beyond vision correction.
■ The National Optometry Hall of Fame has inducted two new members: Edwin C. Marshall, OD, vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs and professor of optometry at the Indiana University College of Optometry, and Charles Mullen, OD, former president of the Illinois College of Optometry. Dr. Marshall is an educator, administrator, clinician and public servant, with more than 35 years of service to optometry. Dr. Mullen has planned and redesigned optometry during his 33-year career. He has built institutions of quality education, formed national healthcare policy and strengthened urban communities through optometric and ophthalmic care.
■ Bausch & Lomb has opened a new global pharmaceutical headquarters in Madison, N.J. The site will host global and U.S. leadership for B&L's pharmaceutical business, as well as the marketing and sales teams. B&L maintains its worldwide headquarters in Rochester, N.Y. and research and development locations worldwide.
■ A new study reports that a high proportion of both children (8-to-12 years old) and teens (13-to-17 years old) continued to wear contact lenses after the completion of The Contact Lens in Pediatrics (CLIP) Study (sponsored by Vistakon). The researchers report that regardless of whether they purchased additional lenses or not, both children and teens who participated in the CLIP study cited high levels of satisfaction, good vision, and comfort with lens wear.
■ Lensco has appointed Mike Hodges to vice president of Operations for the company. Mr. Hodges has spent the last three years directing the sales and marketing divisions of the business. His new responsibilities will include overseeing the daily operations of the entire organization. In other Lensco news, the company has formed an agreement with Polyvue in which Lensco customers can now purchase PolyVue lenses using their existing Lensco accounts.
■ Bausch & Lomb has received FDA approval to market the Crystalens HD intraocular lens in quarter diopter steps in the United States.
■ Allergan has received FDA approval for Ozurdex (dexamethasone intravitreal implant) 0.7mg as the first drug therapy indicated for the treatment of macular edema following branch retinal vein occlusion or central retinal vein occlusion.
■ Alcon and its partner NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that Alcon has begun treating patients in a Phase 2 clinical trial of NovaBay's patented lead Aganocide compound, NVC-422, for viral conjunctivitis. Alcon has also announced that it has discontinued development of anecortave acetate for the reduction of intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma.
■ The consumer Web site for Bausch & Lomb's Multi-Focal contact lenses was recently awarded a "Best in Class" honor in the Healthcare category of the 2009 Interactive Media Awards. The site, at www.goodbyereaders.com, was honored for its feature functionality, usability, cross-browser compatibility, design, and overall content.
■ Prevent Blindness America and Vision-Serve Alliance have agreed to join resources to help promote vision health and services. The two organizations have entered into a memorandum of understanding to address eyecare needs from a broad spectrum.
■ Contact Lens Research Site Launches|
The Foundation for Contact Lens and Cornea Research Education, Inc. has launched www.ContactLensResearch.com. The site brings the latest research in contact lenses and lens care to eyecare professionals� desktops in HD video with commentary and insight straight from the researchers themselves. New content from top researchers will be added each month. In addition to the ongoing video journal, other resources and links provide an online gateway to current contact lens and related research. The new site is led by Foundation Founder and Editor-in-Chief Dr. Art Epstein; Drs. Ken Lebow, Christine Sindt, and William Townsend serve as associate editors.
■ New GP e-Newsletter Available
I-site is a monthly educational electronic newsletter edited by Eef van der Worp, BOptom, PhD, FIACLE, FBCLA. It is an objective and non-political publication that provides an update on GP-related topics (based on scientific research, case reports, and other publications worldwide). To view a sample issue and to sign up visit www.i-sitenewsletter.com.
For the Record|
In the July issue, under the article "Allergies and Lens Wear Survey" of the News Spectrum, the e-mail address for ordering the Eye Health & Allergies brochure should have read firstname.lastname@example.org.
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