News Spectrum

NEWS spectrum

ABO Releases Exam Content Overview

The American Board of Optometry (ABO) has completed development of the Board Certification Examination Test Specification/Content Outline for the inaugural examination. The examination window is scheduled for June 1 to 18, 2011, at more than 400 Prometric Test Centers in the United States and throughout the world.

The examination content overview is available on the ABO Web site at under News and Events. The test specifications for the ABO Board Certification examination are based on the results of the Job/Profession Analysis Survey that was sent to the profession earlier this year.

Active candidates who have had their post-graduate education requirements verified by May 16, 2011 will be able to reserve a slot for the inaugural examination in June. The exam will take approximately six hours (a morning and an afternoon session) and contain 240 test items. Optometrists may apply to become Active Candidates for ABO Board Certification on the American Board of Optometry Web site mentioned above.

Manufacturers Release Lenses in New Latheable Silicone Hydrogel Material

Three contact lens companies announced the addition of the Definitive (Contamac) latheable silicone hydrogel material, which recently received FDA approval, to their lens offerings.

Art Optical announced the availability of its Intelliwave custom soft lens designs in the Definitive material. Intelliwave lenses are available in aspheric, aspheric toric, multifocal, and multifocal toric design options in a quarterly replacement modality and are offered in virtually unlimited parameter ranges. Complete product details are available at

X-Cel Contacts announced that all Flexlens specialty lens designs are now available in the Definitive silicone hydrogel, including Flexlens Keratoconus. Alcon's Opti-Free Replenish MultiPurpose Disinfecting Solution is featured as the preferred contact lens solution for the rollout of the new Definitive silicone hydrogel lens designs.

The RevitalEyes post refractive surgery soft lens from Metro Optics also is now available in the Definitive material. All of the MetroSoft line of lenses will be available in Definitive including the MetroSoft Toric, MetroFocal and MetroFocal Toric.

Definitive, which has been available globally for nearly two years, has sold more than 500,000 units prior to receipt of its recent FDA clearance.

Alcon, Novartis Agree on Terms

Alcon's board of directors has approved a merger agreement with Novartis AG, whereby Novartis will pay a total merger consideration valued at $168 per share for the Alcon shares it does not currently own. Under the terms of the deal, the merger consideration will be comprised of a combination of Novartis shares and, if necessary, a cash contingent value amount to result in a total value of $168 per share. The exact exchange ratio and cash contingent value amount will be calculated based upon formulas set forth in the merger agreement.

In accordance with Alcon's Organizational Regulations and after receiveing a fairness opinion from its independent financial adviser, Greenhill & Co., the Independent Director Committee (IDC) recommended approval of the merger agreement to the Alcon board. The board also received a separate fairness opinion rendered by Lazard in connection with the transaction. After considering these items and other appropriate information and factors, the Alcon board approved the merger proposal. The merger will be effected under Swiss merger law.

“This merger will create a stronger eyecare business with broader commercial reach and enhanced capabilities to develop more new and innovative eyecare products that address unmet clinical needs in eye care,” said Kevin Buehler, Alcon's president and chief executive officer.

Upon completion of the merger, Alcon will become the second largest division within Novartis. Ciba Vision and select Novartis ophthalmic medicines will be integrated into Alcon.

“Alcon is a great strategic fit for Novartis, as a science-based leader in a high growth segment of healthcare,” said Joseph Jimenez, chief executive officer of Novartis.

Menicon Names New Executive

Menicon Company Ltd. has appointed a new chief technical officer, Steven Newman.

Newman, who joined Menicon with the acquisition of the ClearLab Flat Pack technology from 1-800 Contacts in June 2007, will direct the first production lines for the introduction of Menicon One Day Flat Pack in 2011. He also will direct product planning, brand strategy, packaging strategy, and manufacturing strategy on a global basis in conjunction with Menicon's HQ office and the subsidiaries worldwide.

Dr. Hidenari Tanaka, Menicon's president, said he was pleased to welcome Mr. Newman to his new role, which coincided with the company's 60th year in business and its new product launch.

Newman said that the impending packaging launch makes it a “very exciting time to be part of Menicon.”

ABB Concise Provides Holiday Support to OGS
■ In late November ABB Concise launched “RX for the Holidays,” a promotion to support Optometry Giving Sight. During December, in partnership with Paragon Vision Sciences, ABB Concise donated a percentage of practitioner purchases of GP lenses manufactured in Paragon materials to Optometry Giving Sight. ABB Concise's GP Signature Series line of lenses manufactured in Paragon material are available in standard, bifocal/multifocal, and irregular cornea designs.
ABB Concise and its practice development division Primary Eyecare Network (PEN) also support Optometry Giving Sight through the “Say Yes Today” campaign. “We are actively engaging doctors in the 'Say Yes Today' campaign, which asks for a monthly contribution of $15 to Optometry Giving Sight,” said Juliana R. Vanoli, PEN's project specialist in charge of charitable fundraising. PEN also encourages its practices to participate in Optometry Giving Sight's annual World Sight Day Challenge.

Blanchard Expands Online Ordering
Blanchard Contact Lens, Inc. has improved its online ordering process, creating online calculators and order forms for almost all of the company's specialty lenses. Blanchard began its online ordering trial with its Reclaim HD lens in 2009. The experiment was a success and the company expanded the online offering to include the Rose K family of lenses early in 2010. To date, practitioners may now order Reclaim HD, Rose K, Bi Expert, MSD, RSS, and the Essential family of lenses utilizing the online ordering system available at
B+L Storz Opthalmics Adds E-Commerce System
Bausch + Lomb Storz Ophthalmic Instruments has enhanced its instrument Web sites to include an e-commerce system, making instrument purchases even easier for its U.S. customers. The new online ordering capabilities allow customers to build a shopping cart, adding instruments from as well Once the customer shopping list is completed, the cart can be submitted for order placement using a credit card or B+L account number.

■ The Arizona Optometric Association will hold its 37th Annual Bronstein Contact Lens & Cornea Seminar from Jan. 14 to 16,2011 at the Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. The program includes 19 hours of COPE-Approved CE and features presentations by Patrick J. Caroline, FAAO, Dr. Timothy B. Edrington,Dr. Arthur Epstein, Dr. Brett Larson, Dr. Earl L. Smith III, and Dr. Barry Weissman. For program details visit
SynergEyes recently reported that the Duette hybrid contact lens for astigmatism has shown strong growth in the few months since its initial introduction. The Duette lens has recently been available in limited release in approximately 150 practices in the United States. In the short time since its introduction, the average sales growth rate has been >350 percent, with the greatest increases over the most recent months. A nation wide launch of Duette hybrid contact lenses for astigmatism is planned for early 2011. Duette Multifocal will be available in limited release in early 2011.
Bausch + Lomb (B+L) has named Char van Zyl as corporate vice president and commercial leader, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Mr. van Zyl will lead the company's cross-functional, multi-market EMEA operations team. He will also have direct commercial responsibility for B+L's emerging markets in the region. Mr. van Zyl joined B+L in 2009, serving as vice president, EMEA, for the company's Pharmaceuticals business. In recent months he has taken on additional region-wide responsibilities. Prior to joining B+L, he most recently was the chief executive officer for Jado Technologies, a German biotechnology firm.
Eyefinity/Office-Mate and Nidek have partnered to provide an equipment interface between ExamWriter version 9.5 and Nidek's NAVIS-EX software. The interface gives eyecare professionals the ability to capture images from Nidek's Fundus photography devices and display them in ExamWriter. Nidek's NAVIS-EX software acquires images from Nidek's Fundus photography devices, including the AFC-230/AFC-210 Non-mydriatic Autofocus Fundus Camera and the F-10 Digital Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope.
■ The American Optometric Association's (AOA) Paraoptometric Section is seeking nominations for the Paraoptometric of the Year Award. The award is given annually to the optometric assistant or technician who has made outstanding and worthwhile contributions to the profession of optometry, paraoptometry, and the general public. Nominations must be received by AOA on or prior to Feb. 1, 2011. Please contact the AOA Paraoptometric Section at (800) 365-2219 x4108 or e-mail
Transitions Optical, Inc. is accepting applications for its 2011 Students of Vision Scholarship program, supported by the Transitions Healthy Sight for Life Fund. Optome try, opticianry, and paraoptometric students in North America can submit projects demonstrating multicultural vision. Visit the scholarship section of