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CLMA Recognizes Labs

The Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA), recently announced the recipients of the Seal of Excellence in Manufacturing. The awarding of the Seal of Excellence is based on results of a double blind, independent quality control evaluation of GP contact lenses produced by member laboratories. Based on tolerances established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Standard Z80.20 – Contact Lenses) the following laboratories were awarded the CLMA's Seal of Excellence for 2010-2012:

ABB Concise Optical Group, Alameda, Calif.

ABBA Optical, Inc., Stone Mountain, Ga.

Accu Lens, Denver, Colo.

Advanced Vision Technologies, Golden, Colo.

American Contact Lens Service, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind.

Art Optical, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Blanchard Contact Lens, Inc., Manchester, N.H.

Corneal Design Corporation, Gaithersburg, Md.

Diversified Ophthalmics, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio

Firestone Optics, Inc., Kansas City, Mo.

International Contact Lens Labs, Rego Park, N.Y.

Lens Dynamics, Inc., Wheat Ridge, Colo.

Lensco, Phoenix, Ariz.

Luzerne Optical Laboratories, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Precision Optics, Omaha, Neb.

Quality Contact Lens Company, Green Bay, Wis.

Tru-Form Optics, Albuquerque, N.M.

Tru-Form Optics, San Antonio, Texas

Tru-Form Optics, Euless, Texas

Valley Contax, Springfield, Ore.

Visionary, Inc., Anaheim, Calif.

“The CLMA Seal of Excellence signifies achievement of the preeminent degree of manufacturing expertise needed to meet a demanding level of inspection and to produce the high quality contact lenses which meet or exceed applicable industry standards,” said Chris Pantle, president of the CLMA. “The CLMA extends its congratulations to the award recipients.”

For more information visit www.clma.net.

Prosthetic Contact Lens Society Forming

A new group is seeking eyecare professionals that presently provide prosthetic soft contact lenses to their patients and who are interested in joining an international Prosthetic Lens Society. The goal is to provide an international web-based referral source for both prospective patients and for professionals seeking an eyecare specialist who provides prosthetic contact lenses.

An informal meeting about the new society is scheduled to take place during the Global Specialty Lens Symposium in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010. Please contact Dr. Mitch Cassel at mitch.cassel@gmail.com for more information.

Student Grant Applications Open

Optometry's Charity—The American Optometric Association (AOA) Foundation is accepting essays from third-year optometry students for its two scholarships.

To apply, the student must be a third-year student member (Class of 2011) in good standing in the American Optometric Student Association and in the American Optometric Association; be a student in good academic standing; and submit a paper, written in English. Each school will judge the submitted papers and select one. Essays must be received no later than Feb. 5, 2010. For the Dr. Seymour Galina Grant (one national recipient $2,500) applicants must write a 1,500 word maximum essay about: “Qualities I have developed through my financial planning/work experience during and/or before optometry school, that I believe will be most useful to me in a professional optometric practice.”

For the InfantSEE Scholarship Grant, sponsored by Vision West, Inc., (one first place $5,000, runner up $2,500) the 1,000 word maximum essay must detail: “How will you, as a primary health care provider, use your professional skills and patient treatment programs to further the goals of the InfantSEE program?”

Optometry's Charity Endowment Fund Advisory Committee will evaluate submissions, and recipients will be announced in March 2010. For more information, visit www.optometryscharity.org.

Hassan Joins B&L Board

Bausch & Lomb recently announced that Fred Hassan has been elected to its Board of Directors.

Mr. Hassan was chairman and CEO of Schering-Plough Corporation from 2003 until its acquisition by Merck & Co., Inc., on Nov. 3.

Before joining Schering-Plough, he served as CEO (from 2000 to 2001) and as chairman and CEO (from 2001 to 2003) of Pharmacia Corporation until the company was acquired by Pfizer, Inc. in 2003. Prior to that Mr. Hassan was CEO of Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc., which merged with Monsanto Company in 2000 to become Pharmacia Corporation. He also previously served in various senior management roles at major pharmaceutical companies.

“Bausch & Lomb and its customers will benefit from Fred Hassan's extensive global business experience and his in-depth knowledge of the healthcare industry,” said Gerald M. Ostrov, chairman and chief executive officer, B&L. “We will especially value Fred's insight as we develop and market innovative products for the global eye health industry.”

Mr. Hassan is the past chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and is the past chairman of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey. He is also the immediate past president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations.

CLS Department Changes for 2010

This year Contact Lens Spectrum is welcoming several new contributing editors who will write columns for our monthly departments. We've also made a few changes to our 2010 department topics.

Ronald K. Watanabe, OD, FAAO, will join Neil Pence, OD, FAAO, in contributing to the Contact Lens Design and Materials department. Dr. Watanabe is an associate professor of optometry at the New England College of Optometry and is in private practice. The topic of this department has been expanded to include all aspects of contact lens design as well as materials, which was its previous focus.

Members of the Ocular Surface Society of Optometry (OSSO) will contribute four columns to our Dry Eye Dx and Tx department. The OSSO columns will be coordinated by Lyndon Jones, PhD, FCOptom, FAAO, and will rotate with those of current department contributors William Townsend, OD, FAAO, and Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO.

The Contact Lens Exam department has been combined with the Contact Lens Practice Pearls department. Gregory J. Nixon, OD, FAAO, Thomas G. Quinn, OD, MS, FAAO, and John Mark Jackson, OD, MS, FAAO, will all write columns for this department under the title Contact Lens Practice Pearls.

In a similar fashion, The Business of Contact Lenses department has been combined with the Coding Strategies department. Gary Gerber, OD, and Clarke D. Newman, OD, FAAO, will contribute to this department under the title The Business of Contact Lenses.

Christine W. Sindt, OD, FAAO, Pauline Cho, PhD, FAAO, FB-CLA, and Sin Wan Cheung, MPhil, FAAO, will join Marjorie J. Rah, OD, PhD, on the Pediatric and Teen CL Care department. Dr. Sindt is a clinical associate professor of ophthalmology and director of the contact lens service at the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Dr. Cho is an associate professor of the School of Optometry at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University where she teaches Contact Lens Practice. Ms. Cheung will co-write columns with Dr. Cho and is currently a research fellow at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Finally, Eric Papas, PhD, MCOptom, Dip-CL, will join Loretta Szczotka-Flynn, OD, PhD, MS, FAAO, in contributing to the Research Review department. Associate Professor Papas is Executive Director of Research & Development and Director of Post Graduate Studies, Institute for Eye Research and Vision Cooperative Research Centre, and Senior Visiting Fellow, School of Optometry & Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

With welcoming new contributors comes bidding a fond farewell to those not returning for 2010. We extend heartfelt thanks and best wishes to Kathy Dumbleton, MSc, FCOptom, FAAO, and Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, FAAO.

INDUSTRY BRIEFS
Blanchard Contact Lens recently announced that it has begun manufacturing the BiExpert segmented bifocal contact lens. The company says that the design's non-truncated inverse edge fits the lower eyelid for natural translation, delivering immediate visual clarity and comfort.

■ In late November, Paragon Vision Sciences announced a second Paragon CRT nationwide consumer editorial and advertising campaign that was featured in The Wall Street Journal on Dec. 5, 2009; a special weekend edition. Reaching more than one million households and newsstands, Paragon said that the consumer driven editorial “Corrective Lenses Offer Various Options” will serve as an unbiased medical update for consumers who may be unaware of alternative methods to obtain vision correction with multifocal, astigmatic, and corneal reshaping contact lenses. The information was distributed in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia, and Southeastern Canada.

Bausch & Lomb's World Headquarters in Rochester, N.Y. has earned the Energy Star rating for energy efficiency from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Commercial buildings earning an Energy Star rating use an average of 40 percent less energy than typical buildings do and release 35 percent less carbon into the atmosphere.

Alcon has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Optonol, Ltd., a medical device company that develops, manufactures, and markets miniature surgical implants used to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients who have glaucoma. With this acquisition, Alcon will acquire Optonol's Ex-Press Mini Glaucoma Shunt.

Santen, Inc.'s President and CEO Adrienne L. Graves, PhD, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Foundation. Dr. Graves also serves as a corporate officer for Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and serves on the board of directors for TearLab Corporation.

Health Canada has issued a Medical Device License for the TearLab Osmolarity System (TearLab Corporation). The TearLab system is intended to measure the osmolarity of human tears to aid in diagnosing patients who have signs or symptoms of dry eye disease, in conjunction with other methods of clinical evaluation. The Health Canada license allows the company to immediately begin marketing the system in Canada.

Potentia Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biotechnology company developing medicines for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), has entered into licensing and purchase option agreements with Alcon Research, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcon, Inc. The agreements provide Alcon with a license to develop Potentia's leading drug candidate, POT-4, for the treatment of AMD. The agreements also provide for Alcon to acquire the shares of Potentia if specified development milestones are achieved and if Alcon elects to continue development of POT-4.

John F. Amos, OD, has announced his resignation as Dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Optometry effective Dec. 31, 2009. He plans to remain on faculty for several more months. Dr. Amos has been a faculty member at UAB for 37 years and served as Dean since 2000.

■ The American Optometric Association's fourth annual Eye-Q survey, which assesses public knowledge and understanding of issues related to eye and visual health, indicates that only 18 percent of Americans know that macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older, and less than a quarter of all Americans understand the effects of glaucoma. In addition, 89 percent of Americans incorrectly believe that glaucoma is preventable. Baby boomers and seniors should be made aware of these and other age-related eye diseases and educated on the importance of regular comprehensive eye exams, as well as on the detrimental effects of poor diet and smoking on the health of the eyes.


Study Examines Replacement Compliance
■ More than half of the respondents taking part in a survey to determine the compliance of frequent replacement lens wearers said they are not compliant with their prescribed replacement schedule, whether wearing a two-week or monthly lens. A random sample of 645 frequent replacement contact lens wearers answered questions relating to lens replacement frequency using an online, sponsor-masked survey. The respondents represented wearers of hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lenses available in the United States that are prescribed for two-week or monthly replacement.
About four-in-10 (43 percent) wearers prescribed for two-week replacement reported that they replaced their lenses as prescribed. Sixty-five percent replaced them at three weeks; 85 percent within four weeks, 4 percent at eight weeks or more, and 2 percent at 10 weeks or more. Only about one-third (36 percent) of wearers of lenses prescribed for monthly replacement reported that they replaced their lenses as prescribed. More than half (55 percent) replaced them at five weeks, 23 percent at eight weeks or more, and 14 percent at 10 weeks or more. Vistakon sponsored the study.

WEB UPDATE
ABB Concise Enhances E-commerce Site
ABB Concise has enhanced the functionality of its online contact lens ordering service, YourLens.com, which is utilized by 2,248 practices. YourLens.com now offers practices enhanced retail pricing functionality that can increase revenue by maximizing tiered pricing and other discounts. ABB Concise says that customers with YourLens.com-powered web stores can now offer their patients semi-annual contact lens pricing and a special column just for its new ‘auto ship’ functionality. Also new are pricing tiers that ABB Concise says allows its customers to design competitively priced promotions for the company's loyal patients.

The Vision Council Offers Online CE
The Vision Council has launched a new continuing education portal for eyecare professionals available at www.thevisioncouncil.org/ecp/CE. The organization says that its continuing education courses focus on sales, marketing, communication, and business building skills for eyecare professionals. The initial three courses available with the launch are all approved for one hour of ABO credit. The content is delivered in both text and multi-media formats that are designed for a variety of learning styles and an enriching user experience, according to The Vision Council.