News Spectrum

NEWS spectrum

Valeant Completes B+L Acquisition

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. completed its acquisition of Bausch + Lomb (B+L) on Aug. 5, 2013. B+L is retaining its name as a division of Valeant. Valeant’s existing ophthalmology businesses will be integrated into the B+L division, creating a global eye health platform with estimated pro forma 2013 net revenue of more than $3.5 billion. The united business has a vast eyecare product portfolio and an array of late-stage over-the-counter, prescription, and ophthalmic surgery products in the development pipeline. Valeant expects to realize significantly more than $800 million of cost synergies from the combined company, with a run rate north of $500 million by year-end 2013 and a run rate significantly more than $800 million by year-end 2014.

With the completion of the acquisition, Valeant also began to implement its previously announced plans to downsize the combined company global workforce by up to 15 percent (potentially almost 2,900 positions worldwide) by announcing the immediate layoff of 200 employees in the Rochester B+L facilities. According to information released by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, Valeant plans to cut an additional 200 B+L employees in Rochester by early 2014. Valeant also plans to move B+L’s headquarters to a site to be determined in New Jersey.

According to stories previously published in sources such as USA Today, the company does not plan to cut the B+L North American sales force or close any U.S. manufacturing sites.

Achenbach Joins SynergEyes in VP Role

SynergEyes, Inc. has appointed Dr. Peg Achenbach, OD, FAAO, vice president of professional services. The company, manufacturer, and marketer of the Duette and UltraHealth families of contact lenses says that her leadership at that post will enhance relationships with independent eyecare professionals (ECPs) and create a customer-centric corporate culture.

Dr. Achenbach will be responsible for representing SynergEyes to the ECP community, developing programs to capture the voices of various key opinion leaders, and increasing the company’s presence and support within the profession.

Prior to joining SynergEyes, Dr. Achenbach was chief medical and academic strategist at Contamac, Ltd. She also served as senior director of Professional and Medical Affairs at Vistakon and as manager of Worldwide Clinical Research at Bausch & Lomb. Dr. Achenbach also spent 16 years in private practice in various group practices across the United States and in solo practice in New Jersey. She is a graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry.


■ The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) is seeking submissions for workshops and clinical spotlights to be presented at its 2014 Clinical Conference and Exhibition, which will take place from June 6 to 9, 2014 at the ICC Birmingham, UK. A website for online submissions is now open, with submissions due by Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. Any workshop topic related to contact lenses and/or the anterior eye will be considered. Groups or individuals are welcome to submit proposals for a two-hour clinical spotlight session on any topic relating to contact lenses and/or the anterior eye. For more information on conference submissions, visit

Essilor International recently announced an agreement to acquire a 51 percent share in Transitions Optical, owned by PPG Industries. Transitions Optical is the inventor of variable-tint plastic lenses. Essilor and PPG’s teams collaborated to develop the photochromatic contact lens platform. Essilor says that the acquisition will allow new growth for Transitions Optical and will better position the corporation to accelerate growth in expanding markets, particularly in Asia, South America, and Europe.

■ Nearly 14,000 vision industry representatives and eyecare providers are expected to attend International Vision Expo West 2013 in Las Vegas, Oct. 2 to 5. This year marks the meeting’s 25th anniversary. Held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, it features more than 475 exhibitors, 5,000 brands and 375 hours of continuing education. The 25th anniversary gathering will have numerous special presentations and events marking the milestone including a 25th Anniversary Toast, 25th Anniversary Opening Night Kickoff at Tao, Throwback Thursday, and more. To learn more or to register, visit

SpecialEyes recently signed on as a partner and financial supporter of the industry-wide initiative Think About Your Eyes, which aims to bring national awareness to the importance of eye health. Think About Your Eyes, LLC, a non-profit organization under The Vision Council and endorsed by the American Optometric Association, launched a consumer campaign in July designed to educate the public about the benefits of vision health and the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam.

The Sixth Annual Prevent Blindness America Swing Fore Sight Golf Tournament, held in conjunction with Vision Expo West, will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, at the Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nev. Swing Fore Sight brings together top executives in the vision industry for a morning of golf while raising awareness and funds to support the sight-saving programs and services of Prevent Blindness America. For more information or to register, visit

■ San Diego-based optometrist Dr. David Bloch has developed Reading Without Limits, a children’s reading program that focuses on strengthening eye muscle and solving processing issues to improve reading ability. The program discovers vision impairments that often go undiagnosed during a traditional eye exam or reading program. More eye practitioners are invited to join in an effort to expand the methodology on a national level through a licensing agreement and training program. Visit

Blanchard Hosts Scleral Lens Education Program

Since its debut session on June 25, 2011, the Blanchard Contact Lens (BCL) Professional Development Center in Manchester, N.H. has hosted more than 150 practitioners and has grown to encompass the Onefit P+A Series and Onefit Cone Series mini scleral design in addition to the company’s MSD mini scleral lens. All three designs in the Beyond The Limbus program represent the state-of-the-art in mini scleral lenses, providing a rounded education seminar for those practitioners who fit or wish to fit scleral lenses, according to Blanchard.

The expanded program offers one-day presentations at BCL’s Manchester site as well as a series of similar one-day satellite seminars in Las Vegas, Nev.

Manchester, N.H. event schedule:

• Oct. 5, 2013 (limited space available)

• Nov. 9, 2013

Las Vegas event schedule:

• Oct. 12 and 13, 2013

• Oct. 19 and 20, 2013

• Jan. 18 and 19, 2013

• Feb. 22 and 23, 2014

• March 1 and 2, 2014

Those wishing to attend a Beyond The Limbus seminar should contact their Blanchard Sales Representative or National Sales Director Lee Buffalo at to discuss availability. Space is limited.


Vision Source, North America’s largest network of private practice optometrists, has appointed the organization’s founder Glenn Ellisor, OD, to the newly created role of executive chairman. Jim Greenwood will fill Ellisor’s prior roles as president and chief executive officer.

Ellisor will continue to lead the company’s board of directors and will remain actively involved in its strategic development, including being the full-time clinical lead of the company and setting the strategic direction of the organization. In a statement, Ellisor asserted that changes in the healthcare environment due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, physician consolidation, reimbursement pressures, and new technologies present extraordinary challenges to the eyecare industry. He intends to focus full time on helping independent ODs and members navigate this rapidly transforming landscape.

Jim Greenwood brings to Vision Source 20 years of extensive healthcare experience and accomplishment acquired through his work at Concentra, a $1 billion physician practice management company.

AAO Announces Award Recipients

Each year the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) recognizes distinguished individuals who have made contributions to advancing the profession of optometry. The AAO recently announced its 2013 award recipients:

Gordon E. Legge, PhD— Charles F. Prentice Medal and Lecture Award

David B. Elliott, PhD, MCOptom, FAAO— Glenn A. Fry Award and Lecture (American Optometric Foundation Award)

Pete Kollbaum, OD, PhD, FAAO— Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award

George Woo, OD, PhD, FAAO— AAO-Essilor Award for Outstanding International Contributions to Optometry

Sandra Block, OD, MEd, FAAO— Carel C. Koch Memorial Award

Krystal L. Schulle, OD— Julius F. Neumueller Award in Optics (American Optometric Foundation Award)

Murray Fingeret, OD, FAAO— Vincent Ellerbrock Clinician Educator Award

Louis J. Catania, OD, FAAO— Eminent Service Award

Anthony P. Cullen, OD, PhD, FAAO, and Michael G. Harris, OD, JD, FAAO— Life Fellow Award

Padmaja Sankaridurg, BOptom, MIP, PhD; Leslie Donovan, BOptom; Saulius Varnas, PhD; Arthur Ho, PhD, FAAO; Xiang Chen, MS; Aldo Martinez, PhD, FAAO; Scott Fisher, BScPsych; Zhi Lin, MSc; Earl L. Smith, III, OD, PhD, FAAO; Jian Ge, MD; and Brien A. Holden, PhD, DSc, FAAO— Garland W. Clay Award

Barbara Junghans, BOptom, PhD, FAAO— Michael G. Harris Award for Excellence in Optometric Education (American Optometric Foundation Award)

Award recipients of the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies are:

Lyndon W. Jones, PhD, FCOptom, FAAO— Max Schapero Memorial Lecture Award

Patrick J. Caroline, FAAO; Mark P. André, FAAO; and Craig W. Norman, FCLSA— Founders’ Award

Award winners will be recognized at the Academy 2013 Seattle Awards Ceremony, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 25, from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, in Room 4E of the Washington State Convention Center and at 5:00 pm in Room 4C 3-4 after the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies Symposium.

Diversified Ophthalmics Launches New Site

Diversified Ophthalmics, Inc., along with its affiliates, MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics, Inc. and Firestone Optics, Inc., recently debuted a new website at Some of the new site’s features include a Press Release section, iCal Interactive Calendar, social media links with a Facebook feed to the home page, YouTube videos, and a Classifieds section. The site also has a secure server portal that provides protection for ordering and account information. New features allow customers to complete patient orders more quickly. soft lens online ordering now offers four ways to place ‘Ship To Office’ orders. Future plans for the site include merging the website of Firestone Optics, which was acquired in January.