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NEWS SPECTRUM

NEWS SPECTRUM

CDC HOLDS THIRD ANNUAL CONTACT LENS HEALTH WEEK

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in close collaboration with partners, has organized Contact Lens Health Week as a strategy to increase public awareness and promote healthy contact lens wear and care. Increased awareness about the importance of proper contact lens hygiene can encourage contact lens wearers to adopt healthy habits that can reduce their chances of getting an eye infection. Aug. 22 to 26, 2016 marked the third annual Contact Lens Health Week. This year’s health messages covered three key areas:

1) Healthy contact lens hygiene habits

2) Proper use, care, and storage of contact lenses and supplies

3) Regular visits to an eyecare provider

The CDC has developed a number of tools and materials to help promote Contact Lens Health Week and healthy lens wear and care throughout the year. General contact lens health and promotion materials available include posters, tear-off pads, buttons and banners, infographics, podcasts, mobile apps, a social media library, and web features.

The CDC also coordinates contact lens health promotion efforts during Spring Break and Healthy Vision Month (May). In addition, the CDC encourages partners to promote healthy contact lens wear and care throughout the year.

Released just ahead of Contact Lens Health Week, the CDC issued a press release on the dangers of improper contact lens care. The release indicated that nearly one in five contact lens-related eye infections reported to a federal database involved a patient who experienced eye damage, according to a report published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The findings in this report highlight the need for contact lens wearers to take good care of their lenses to help prevent contact lens-related eye infections. Three recommendations provided were:

1) Don’t sleep in contact lenses without talking with your eyecare practitioner. Sleeping in contact lenses increases the chance of an eye infection by six to eight times.

2) Don’t top off, or add new lens solution to old solution that has been sitting in the case. Adding new solution to used solution can lower germ-killing power.

3) Replace your contact lenses as often as recommended by your eyecare practitioner. People who do not replace their lenses as often as recommended have more complications and report more eye problems than those who follow the replacement recommendations.

For more on Contact Lens Health Week, visit www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/contact-lens-health-week.html.

AOCLE HOLDS ANNUAL WORKSHOP

The Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE) held its annual workshop at Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry. Sixty contact lens educators and 25 industry representatives gathered at the workshop with the theme of “Anterior Segment Lasers & Corneal Collagen Crosslinking.” Guest lecturers were Dr. Nathan Lighthizer and Dr. Joel Sturm. New officers were elected and include Dr. Susan Kovacich, chair; Dr. Katie Clore, vice chair; Dr. Julie DeKinder, secretary; Dr. Neil Pence, treasurer; and Dr. Judy Perrigin, immediate past chair.

The George Mertz Award was presented to two new contact lens educators: Dr. Chad Rosen of Michigan College of Optometry and Dr. John Gialousakis of SUNY College of Optometry. The Lester E. Janoff Memorial Award, presented to an optometric educator of the AOCLE who has demonstrated excellence in the area of contact lens-related publications, contact lens education, and research, and who has played an active role in AOCLE, was presented to Dr. Bill Edmondson of Southern College of Optometry.

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ALCON APPOINTS DR. JEANMARIE DAVIS TO LEAD PROFESSIONAL RELATIONS

Alcon, a division of Novartis, appointed JeanMarie Davis, OD, FAAO, as director of Professional Relations & Practitioner Partnerships as part of the U.S. Vision Care Professional Affairs team. In this role, Dr. Davis will work with leaders in the contact lens, lens care, and ocular surface fields to create strategic alliances within optometry, ophthalmology, and opticianry to help Alcon deliver better patient outcomes. Her responsibilities will include various educational and strategic aspects related to Alcon’s U.S. Vision Care business.

Dr. Davis brings more than 15 years of eyecare experience to the role, having most recently served as global head, Vision Care Technical Training, within Alcon’s Global Performance Development team. She joined Alcon in 2011 and has served as a member of the extended Global Vision Care franchise leadership team. Prior to joining Alcon, Dr. Davis owned an optometry practice in Miami and was a clinical assistant professor at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Optometry.

BAUSCH + LOMB OFFERS BACK-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Bausch + Lomb is helping students start the school year with great vision by providing programs for eyecare practitioners (ECPs) and patients. Many students will spend more and more time staring at digital devices (laptops, phones, etc.) once the school year begins, which may cause them to blink up to 66% less and result in dry contact lenses or blurry vision. B+L programs to help them prepare for the upcoming school year include:

• Same-Day dispensing program that will allow ECPs to offer patients savings of up to $150 with the national and Bausch + Lomb Plus rebate on B+L Ultra and Biotrue Oneday contact lenses.

• Biotrue multi-purpose solution and PeroxiClear hydrogen peroxide solution will be featured in several major retailer in-store promotions.

POP-UP TALKS AT VISION EXPO WEST

At International Vision Expo West in Las Vegas from Sept. 14 to 17, lounges will host pop-up talks on various topics. The Galleria Lounge (Booth #G25052) will feature fashion-focused pop-ups. In the Learning Lounge (LP3091), the Young Professionals Club Advisory Group will share solutions to the topics important to students, new graduates, and young professionals. And, at Booth LP12115, the NewGradOptometry.com team will be leading hour-long panels and interviews with experts each day.

GLOBAL CONTACT LENS FORUM TO TAKE PLACE AT VISION EXPO WEST

The Global Contact Lens Forum (GCLF) continues to develop as an informative “meeting within a meeting” at International Vision Expo, providing insight into current issues faced by contact lens practitioners. This year, a new format gives attendees access to thought leaders in the field sharing their views on the future of contact lens practice. Emphasis will be placed on both clinical/scientific advancements as well as critical business strategies. A new session this year is dedicated to contact lens wear from patients’ perspectives.

This program is endorsed by the British Contact Lens Association and is supported by Bausch + Lomb and CooperVision. Contact Lens Spectrum continues as the media partner.

The GCLF will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 14 as part of International Vision Expo West. It will kick off at 7:00 a.m. with a presentation on The State of the Contact Lens Industry in 2016, followed by a session on specialty areas to boost contact lens practice and a session featuring patients talking about their contact lens experiences. There will also be a promotional breakfast and lunch symposium. The program will wrap up at 1:15 p.m.

The GCLF offers four hours of free continuing education for COPE, NCLE, and FL Boards of Optometry and Opticianry. Advanced registration is required. Visit http://west.visionexpo.com/Continuing-Education/Global-Contact-Lens-Forum/.

INDUSTRY BRIEFS

Val Shellman, FCLSA, NCLE-ADV, has joined the Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products (SVP) business as a product specialist. Mr. Shellman brings fitting experience to Bausch + Lomb SVP with more than 30 years in-practice experience, the last nine of which focused on specialty contact lens fitting at Visionary Eye Associates in Rochester, NY. In his new role, Mr. Shellman will leverage his familiarity with the Alden Optical line of custom and specialty lenses to consult with eyecare professionals on complex specialty fitting with Alden Optical and SVP designs.

Contamac has announced its commitment to support the Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS) with Platinum level sponsorship of the organization, which provides education for practitioners on the art of fitting scleral lenses though congresses, workshops, webinars, and other educational mediums.

CooperVision has been honored by the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association (PRMA) with a series of environmental, health, and safety awards in recognition of advancements in its Puerto Rico high-volume production facility. Contact lenses manufactured at the site include MyDay and Biofinity brands. CooperVision was recognized in part for advances in its manufacturing processes, winning the Environmental Innovation Project of the Year Award. The company reported an initial reduction of 12.4% in alcohol use and a 55% decrease in water demand for manufacturing purposes in its Puerto Rico facility, with plans to add two additional manufacturing lines to the environmentally sound process this year. CooperVision’s streamlined manufacturing process reduces landfill disposal, has presented a company cost savings of $1 million in 2015, and is projected to save an additional $7.5 million in operating costs by the end of 2017.

Allergan plc has filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the de novo application for the Oculeve Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator device. According to the FDA, this process provides a pathway for medical devices for which general and/or special controls provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness, but for which there is no legally marketed predicate device. This handheld stimulator was investigated for temporarily increasing tear production upon activation in patients who have dry eye disease due to decreased tear production. Allergan recently announced that two pivotal trials of the Oculeve Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator each met their effectiveness endpoints.

University of Alabama at Birmingham announced a dual Doctor of Optometry (OD)/Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. Students in the OD/MPH program will develop, administer, and evaluate eye and vision health programs in research projects as well as design and conduct epidemiological field studies, use statistical methods in data analysis of case-control and cohort studies, develop and implement vision health education programs, and develop occupational health and eye safety programs. The curriculum of the optometry professional program includes an additional 43 credit hours in the MPH program with coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, public health policy, and more. Admission into the OD/MPH program includes enrollment in the School of Optometry, an interview with the OD/MPH committee, approval and recommendation from the School of Optometry, and application and acceptance into the School of Public Health.

Beth Marsh joined Shire’s Ophthalmics team as Commercial Strategy Lead for SHP640, the development program for a novel agent being investigated to treat infectious conjunctivitis (adenoviral and bacterial). She will be responsible for building the commercial launch plan for SHP640. Ms. Marsh has more than 20 years’ experience in the ophthalmic pharmaceutical and medical device markets. She was a key team member working on the commercial launches for the ophthalmic business units at Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Santen, and Akorn, working across numerous brands. Most recently, she was at her own consulting firm assisting development-stage ophthalmic pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Prevent Blindness has designated September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness month. According to recent data from Prevent Blindness, more eye injuries occur from water and pool activities than from any other sport. Eye injuries may include everything from eye infections and irritations to burns from chlorine and other chemicals to scratches or trauma from other swimmers. Wearing contact lenses during water activities also increases the risk for Acanthamoeba keratitis. Other sports with the most eye injuries include basketball, use of guns (air, gas, spring, and BB), baseball/softball, and football. In the worst cases, some injuries may result in permanent vision loss.

SCLERAL LENS EDUCATION SOCIETY OFFERS COPE-APPROVED CE

The Scleral Lens Education Society announced a series of three-hour COPE-approved continuing education (CE) courses providing a comprehensive discussion of fitting and evaluation of scleral lenses. This course includes patient selection, pre-fitting diagnostic evaluation of patients, specialized testing, initial diagnostic lens selection and evaluation, lens ordering, follow-up care, modification of the fit, problem-solving, specific care and handling of lenses, and in-office management tips.

The course is appropriate for those who have little to no experience with scleral lens fitting; for those who have scleral lens experience, it will also cover more advanced tips for solving the complex fitting challenges that scleral lenses can present.

The courses will be conducted on Sunday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Immediately following the CE lecture, attendees have the option of attending a product-specific, non-CE scleral lens workshop hosted by Blanchard Contact Lenses.

The 2016 courses will be held on:

    Oct. 2 in New Orleans

    Oct. 9 in Scottsdale, AZ

    Oct. 16 in Denver

    Oct. 23 in Atlantic City, NJ

    Oct. 30 in San Antonio, TX

    Nov. 6 in Newport Beach, CA

To register for a course, go to www.sclerallens.org.

2016 AOF STUDENT GIVING MATCHING TRAVEL GRANTS ANNOUNCED

The American Optometric Foundation (AOF) recently announced the recipients of the 2016 AOF Student Giving Matching Travel Grant Program. The program was created in 2014 to increase participation in the American Academy of Optometry student chapters and to create a climate of giving to the AOF. Students are encouraged to raise $750, and the AOF will match it to support travel for students to attend the Academy annual meeting, which this year is from Nov. 9 to 12 in Anaheim, CA.

THE 2016 RECIPIENTS AND THE PARTICIPATING INSTITUTIONS ARE:

    Jennifer M. Sitko,
    Indiana University School of Optometry

    Sara Marie Siebert,
    Indiana University School of Optometry

    Thomas B. Lambert,
    University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry

    Taylor Dahms,
    University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry

    Jacqueline Duong,
    Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry

    Amy Field,
    Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry

    Catherine D’Ardenne,
    State University of New York College of Optometry

    Ryan Nguyen,
    State University of New York College of Optometry

    Katharine Funari,
    Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University

    Samantha Myers,
    Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University

ALCON LAUNCHES REBATE PROGRAM FOR DAILY DISPOSABLES

On Aug. 1, Alcon launched what the company says is a first of its kind program, Alcon Dailies Choice, for new patients. The program is designed to help eyecare professionals provide more patients with access to a healthy and convenient choice through a significant savings on all Alcon daily disposable contact lenses, including the new Dailies Total1 Multifocal contact lenses. The program offers a high-value rebate of up to $200 off a patient’s first annual supply purchase or $75 off a first six-month supply purchase. The offer is valid through Dec. 31, 2016. Visit dailieschoice.com.