Litigation Continues on Utah Law to Ban UPPs
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver issued a temporary injunction on May 13, 2015 to put on hold Utah’s Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act. Signed into law in March 2015, it made Utah the first state to ban contact lens manufacturers’ Unilateral Pricing Policy (UPP) programs.
The injunction reversed a lower court ruling from U.S. District Judge Dee Benson, who found that the law is a legal antitrust measure and allowed it to take effect on May 12. Similar legislation has been introduced in several other states, but none appear to be close to enactment at this time.
Manufacturers with UPP programs, without any agreement with resellers, announce a minimum resale price (MRP) and refuse to make further sales to any reseller that sells below the announced MRP. In 2013, Alcon put a UPP into place, initially applicable only to Dailies Total1 and extended to other specified contact lens brands in 2014. Bausch + Lomb (B+L) and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (JJVCI) also introduced their own UPP programs. In the latter part of 2014, CooperVision continued a UPP for its Clariti contact lenses, which were part of the company’s acquisition of Sauflon Pharmaceuticals Limited.
In April, Alcon, B+L, and JJVCI filed separate federal lawsuits, claiming that the Utah law was unconstitutional. They also requested an injunction to delay the effective date of the law until the suit is resolved. On May 11, a U.S. District Court judge denied the request for a preliminary injunction. In response to the May 13 temporary injunction, the Utah Attorney General’s Office argued in court documents that the law is an antitrust measure designed to increase competition and help customers.
JJVCI Launching 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (JJVCI) began taking orders from eyecare professionals on June 1 for its new 1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand Multifocal contact lenses, which the company says is the first and only contact lens to optimize the optical design to account for the natural variation in pupil size according to age and refractive power. JJVCI says the new lens matches the optical design to the pupil size for a superior vision experience.
The company is currently in the in-market assessment phase of the launch, which began April 1, 2015, with approximately 500 eyecare professionals worldwide (approximately 300 in the United States). The full launch will occur on June 24 at the American Optometric Association’s Optometry’s Meeting. More information on the lens design and parameters will appear in the July Product Spectrum.
DreamLens Now at Art Optical
Art Optical has announced the availability of DreamLens, a four-zone reverse geometry lens design for overnight orthokeratology and myopia management. DreamLens is an FDA-approved design option using the Bausch + Lomb Vision Shaping Treatment (VST) process that is indicated for the temporary reduction of up to 5.00D of myopia in eyes with 1.50D or less of corneal astigmatism.
The DreamLens VST process features an advanced proprietary software program that analyzes topographical data, aids in initial lens selection, and simplifies the fitting and ordering process. The web-based program allows practitioners the freedom to change any parameter, anytime, which gives them complete control of the design, according to the company.
Art Optical states that DreamLens will be competitively priced, backed by a guaranteed fit program, and manufactured and shipped within 24 hours of order.
As with all FDA-approved corneal reshaping designs, DreamLens training and certification is required prior to prescribing.
Extending Partnership with UltraVision CLPL
In other Art Optical news, under license from UltraVision CLPL, UK, Art Optical has been manufacturing and supplying Intelliwave hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lenses in the United States and Asia since 2008. Both companies recently agreed to extend this relationship to 2020 and beyond as well as to build on it by including additional technology to create new GP multifocal and other specialty contact lens designs.
CooperVision Names President, North America
CooperVision, Inc. has named Jerry Warner as president, North America. Mr. Warner is responsible for determining the strategic direction of the company’s largest region, driving sustainable business growth and deeper customer relationships in the United States and Canada.
Mr. Warner previously served as CooperVision’s senior vice president of Global Marketing. He joined the company in 2012 as vice president, Life Cycle Management. Prior to joining CooperVision, Mr. Warner was with Bausch + Lomb for 17 years. During that time, he held numerous leadership positions, including vice president of marketing/general manager of Global Contact Lens; vice president of Global Strategy for Contact Lens; and director of marketing for Lens Care – North America. Earlier in his career, he served in a variety of sales, marketing, and trade marketing roles with Bristol Myers Squibb at the territory and management levels.
IACLE Names 2015 Contact Lens Educators of the Year
The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) announced the winners of the 2015 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards to recognize and reward achievement in contact lens education worldwide. Supported by the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and sponsored by CooperVision, three awards, one from each of IACLE’s three global regions, were presented at a special IACLE Session at the BCLA’s Clinical Conference & Exhibition in Liverpool, United Kingdom on May 30.
IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year: Professor Monica Chaudhry Prior to joining the Amity University Gurgaon, India, where she is head of Optometry and Vision Science, Professor Chaudhry served at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. She is currently the chair of the Optometry Council of India.
IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year: Martín Giraldo Mr. Giraldo qualified as an optometrist at La Salle University, Colombia, where he holds the post of Candidate Magister in Vision Science. He is currently coordinator of the Specialization in Anterior Segment and Contact Lens at Santo Tomás University, Colombia. He also teaches at courses and congresses in Colombia, Perú, Ecuador, Argentina, and Venezuela.
IACLE Europe / Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educator of the Year: Helmer Schweizer Mr. Schweizer is a trained optometrist (Germany) specializing in contact lenses and has held positions in industry including professional affairs and R&D roles. He is president of the industry body Euromcontact and chairman of the European Contact Lens Forum. He also teaches at the schools of optometry in Novi Sad (Serbia) and Velika Gorica (Croatia).
Menicon America Appoints President, North America
Menicon America, Inc. has appointed Scott Orphanos as president for North America. Mr. Orphanos, who previously served as vice president of Sales and Marketing for North America, will be responsible for Menicon’s U.S. and Canadian businesses. An industry veteran, Mr. Orphanos began his career with Bausch + Lomb in the early 1990s and has more recently served as vice president of Sales for Safigel. Mr. Orphanos brings a wealth of experience in the soft contact lens market as well as in ophthalmic and medical devices and national account management.
National Optometry Hall of Fame Nominees Announced
The American Optometric Association (AOA) and Optometry Cares-The AOA Foundation congratulate three AOA member doctors of optometry who have been selected into the prestigious National Optometry Hall of Fame. Since 1998, the National Optometry Hall of Fame, administered by Optometry Cares, has recognized and honored optometrists who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the optometric profession.
The three inductees will be honored at a ceremony and reception on June 25, 2015 as part of the AOA’s annual Optometry’s Meeting, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.
The 2015 inductees are:
Paul C. Ajamian, OD, of Georgia Dr. Ajamian is co-founder of the nation’s first optometric co-management and referral center, Omni Eye Services of Atlanta. Upon graduating from the New England College of Optometry, he became one of the first optometrists to participate in a post-graduate fellowship program at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (BPEI) in Miami. He was awarded the AOA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, in 2014.
Kenji Hamada, OD, of Oregon Dr. Hamada began his career in the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, serving as captain and chief optometrist, earning the Meritorious Service Award. He has received the Young Optometrist of the Year Award, Optometrist of the Year Award, and President’s Award (earned three times) from the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association and the 2001 National Distinguished Service Award from the AOA. Dr. Hamada was also inducted into the National Academies of Practice as a Distinguished Practitioner in Optometry in 2000.
Earl L. Smith III, OD, PhD, of Texas Professor Smith serves on the faculty of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He currently holds the Greeman-Petty Professorship in Vision Development and serves as the interim chief health officer of the University of Houston Amoco. He received the Educator of the Year Award from the Texas Optometric Association in 2003 and Optometrist of the Year Award in 2009.
U.S. FDA Approves Extended Depth of Focus Lenses
Brien Holden Vision Pty Ltd. (BHV) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted clearance for its Extended Depth of Focus (EDOF) contact lenses. BHV’s new generation of EDOF contact lenses uses higher-order aberrations to optimize retinal image quality over a wide range of distances from far to near, while minimizing ghosting and halos. The EDOF contact lenses perform relatively independent of a patient’s natural aberrations and variation in pupil size and are designed to meet the vision needs of emerging presbyopes.
■ Menicon America has introduced a patient rebate program for its Miru 1Day Menicon Flat Pack daily disposable contact lenses. A rebate of up to $110 on an annual supply of 1Day Miru is available to patients who qualify. The rebate consists of an $80 product rebate and a $30 professional fees rebate. For more information, please visit www.clwebstore.com/rebates or call (800) 636-4266.
■ Visionary Optics LLC has added the Europa Scleral Lens Virtual Troubleshooting Guide to its website (www.visionaryoptics.com). The guide provides immediate answers any time to the most common modifications of the Europa Scleral lens. It also includes streamlined options to email the consulting department and to order lenses directly through the website.
■ The American Optometric Association (AOA) announced three electronic health record (EHR) vendors that will integrate with a new optometric registry, AOA MORE (Measures and Outcomes Registry for Eyecare) by Prometheus Research. The initial EHR vendors include Compulink Eyecare Advantage/HER, MaximEyes by First Insight, and RevolutionEHR by Health Innovation Technologies. AOA MORE is a private, secure database that will integrate data from a practitioner’s EHR to provide a systematic way of collecting real-time patient data and reporting data as needed. The data from AOA MORE will promote clinical improvement through self-benchmarking, outcomes and population analytics, and will support increased access and scope of care. The registry is an AOA member benefit, but it will be available to nonmembers for a fee. AOA MORE continues trial testing in select practices nationwide and will launch at AOA’s Optometry’s Meeting 2015, held in Seattle from June 24 to 28.
■ The American Optometric Association (AOA) and the World Council of Optometry (WCO) have announced that the WCO, a global advocate for eye health access and the profession of optometry, will move its offices from London to the offices of the AOA located in St. Louis, Mo. The WCO, with a membership of 90 organizations representing more than 200,000 optometrists in 54 countries, works to facilitate the development of optometry around the world and supports optometrists in promoting eye health and vision care as a human right through advocacy, education, policy development, and humanitarian outreach. The move will also include the fundraising arm of the WCO, the World Optometry Foundation (WOF). The relocation is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015.
■ AllAboutVision.com recently reached the milestone of 150 million cumulative unique visitors served since the consumer health information website debuted on Jan. 2, 2000. Since its launch, AllAboutVision.com has grown from serving a first-year total of 800,000 visitors to serving about 900,000 visitors per week in 2015. The site is expected to serve a total of 45 million unique visitors in 2015.
■ The Vision Council has been awarded the 2015 Golden Quill Award for its media relations efforts to educate against digital eye strain. The award, presented by the International Association of Business Communicators, recognizes business communication excellence globally. The Vision Council established the term “Digital Eye Strain” and has worked to increase awareness of the condition as well as the availability and use of computer eyewear. The Vision Council also developed the report: “Digit-EYEzed: The Daily Impact of Digital Screens on the Eye Health of Americans” and a substantial presence at the International Consumer Electronics Show for the report’s release. Furthermore, The Vision Council and its consumer media relations partner, GYMR, launched a multifaceted print, online, and broadcast media plan. These efforts yielded more than 1,200 stories, resulting in 848.6 million media impressions.
■ Optometry Cares-The AOA Foundation, The Vision Council, The American Optometric Student Association, and Essilor of America are aiming to break a Guinness World Record at this year’s Optometry’s Meeting for “the most people wearing sunglasses in the dark.” Sunglasses will be provided on location. The number to beat is 1,675. Open to all registered Optometry’s Meeting attendees, the attempt will take place on June 25 during the 24th Annual Varilux Optometry Student Bowl at approximately 9:30 p.m. (after the final round of trivia) in Ballroom 6BC, Washington State Convention Center. The attempt is being made to support Optometry Cares, raise awareness for the importance of eye and vision care; and remind individuals of the dangers of UV light on the visual system.