PARTNERS IN SUCCESS
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF CONTACT LENS INNOVATION
Products and technology have played a key role in the advancement of contact lenses over the past 30 years, and are more essential than ever to patient and practice success. In this special section, industry leaders share how their companies provide eyecare practitioners with the best contact lens options and services — and are integral to the profession’s continued growth and development.
REIMAGINING EYE CARE: HELPING PATIENTS SEE, LOOK, AND FEEL THEIR BEST
CARLA J. MACK, OD, MBA, FAAO
DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL AND CLINICAL SUPPORT, ALCON US VISION CARE
Scientific innovation has been Alcon’s hallmark since Robert Alexander and William Connor opened a small ophthalmic shop in 1945. We are reimagining eye care, supporting technological advances that have expanded and enriched our differentiated product portfolio with the goal of helping patients see, look, and feel their best. Our commitment to eye care does not stop there. We have forged dozens of partnerships with patients, practitioners, students, and organizations so that we may inform and inspire proactive eye care.
A Differentiated Portfolio
Because no two patients are alike, we are driven by an obsession with science to develop differentiated contact lenses and lens care products across four innovative technological platforms (optics, surface, materials, and color) to meet unique patient needs, improve patient outcomes, and help enhance patient quality of life.
Studies show improved patient compliance with contact lens replacement for those in daily disposable and monthly replacement contact lenses, as compared with those wearing 2-week replacement lenses,1,2 and that patients who are compliant with replacement schedules return sooner to their eyecare practitioners for comprehensive care.3 To address these patient behaviors, we have focused our contact lens portfolio on unique materials in daily disposable and monthly replacement lenses that help promote compliance, more frequent care for patients, and practice growth.
We see tremendous patient and practice opportunities with daily disposable contact lenses and are pleased to offer this wearing option to patients with astigmatism or presbyopia, and to expand our parameter ranges to provide contact lens options for more patients. We are innovating with game-changing materials, such as the patented Water Gradient Technology in DAILIES TOTAL1® contact lenses, now also available for your presbyopic patients. The beauty segment is another market with untapped potential. In addition to not having to refit current wearers of AIR OPTIX AQUA® sphere for AIR OPTIX® COLORS lenses,4 we have partnered with ECPs and their staff to develop online technician training to efficiently integrate the color contact lens opportunity into practices.
Above are just a few of the educational and public awareness campaigns we support in order to promote proactive eyecare and improve patient and practice outcomes.
Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions are known for their exceptional efficacy and biocompatibility with ocular surface tissue and have higher rates of lens care compliance compared with multipurpose solutions.5 Patients are getting the best of both worlds with CLEAR CARE® PLUS, which was awarded Product of the Year in the 2016 Consumer Survey of Product Innovation.* CLEAR CARE® PLUS combines exceptional disinfection and long-lasting moisture with the addition of HydraGlyde® Moisture Matrix technology.
An Innovative Future
Today’s contact lenses can help a wide range of vision needs, and there is potential for even greater innovation. Alcon is partnering with Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) to develop “smart lens” technology for devices that may have the potential to provide accommodation for patients with presbyopia and to measure tear glucose in patients with diabetes.
Unique Partnerships to Support Proactive Eye Care
Our partnerships are based on supporting patients, practitioners, students, and organizations, with a shared goal of informing and inspiring proactive eye care. As the global leader in eye care, we continue to commit significant resources in support of educational and public awareness campaigns that will improve patient and practice outcomes.
We have been helping people see better since 1945, and while we are proud of how far we have come, we are even more excited about our future and the endless possibilities before us to deliver additional science-based innovations, discover new ways to enhance sight and improve lives, and develop deeper relationships with our ECP partners. We are reimagining eye care to help more people see, look, and feel their best.
1. Dumbleton K et al. Comfort and vision with silicone hydrogel lenses: effect of compliance. Optom Vis Sci. 2010;87:421-425.
2. Dumbleton K et al. Patient and practitioner compliance with silicone hydrogel and daily disposable lens replacement in the United States. Eye Contact Lens. 2009;35:164-171.
3. Dumbleton K et al. Compliance with lens replacement and the interval between eye examinations. Optom Vis Sci. 2013;90:351-358.
4. Based on a survey of 311 eyecare professionals; Alcon data on file, 2013.
5. Guthrie S et al. Is there a relationship between care system and compliance? Poster presented at: British Contact Lens Association 2015 Clinical Conference. May 29-31, 2015; Liverpool, UK. Poster 48.
TAKING INNOVATION INTO THE 21ST CENTURY
JILL SAXON, O.D.
DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL STRATEGY, BAUSCH + LOMB
As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Contact Lens Spectrum, we look back at the journey we’ve taken together. Our mission is to develop products that meet the needs of today’s contact lens patients and the most recent need to develop products that enhance the visual experience created by today’s 24/7 digital world. To support this need, we’ve continued to invest in the introduction of innovative product offerings, while providing continuous training and support for eyecare professionals. With changing needs and demographics, we have adopted and innovated. As an example, today’s presbyopic Boomer and Gen X populations desire to look and feel young. We have innovated contact lens material and optical designs to meet their needs. We are proud of our founders’ legacy and our continued stream of innovation that has helped transform the eyecare industry. As we enter the next 30 years together, we look forward to continuing to work toward one goal: helping eyecare professionals provide their patients with the best in vision care.
A 30-Year Look Back
Bausch + Lomb has worked to usher in a series of innovations throughout the past 30 years, including the world’s first silicone hydrogel contact lens and multipurpose solutions. We’ve also continued our heritage in optical design that has created significant advancements in contact lens technology. In fact, throughout the last few years, we have introduced several new contact lenses, as well as those that combine breakthrough materials with new manufacturing processes to produce lenses that provide excellent end-of-day comfort and vision for digital device users.
Where We Are and Where We’re Going
Since our company’s inception, our mission has been to help people see better so that they can live better. For today’s eyecare professionals, this translates into developing new and innovative solutions for their patients.
It’s a commitment we take very seriously, and a journey we’ve enjoyed taking with you, as we’ve helped educate and create awareness around the challenges that you and your patients face every day.
Whether it’s leveraging one of the country’s largest technology showcases at South by Southwest (SXSW) to illustrate the need for a lens upgrade to meet the demands of a screen-centric world, to providing creative content to drive people into the doctor’s office, we’ve worked tirelessly to offer programs to help eyecare professionals offer the counsel and expertise their patients have come to expect. We have launched the B+Lieve™ Innovation Summit as a platform to provide education to eye care professionals on our most recent advancements in contact lens materials, designs, and lens care solutions, as well as tools and tips for offering innovative approaches to change habits with the goal of providing better patient care. And, whether it’s education around eye vitamins or surgical products or introducing the latest in lens technology, we are committed to being on the cutting edge of development and innovation.
This also holds true for our role as a committed corporate citizen, as we continue to donate our time, products, and financial support to organizations that support our mission. This includes organizations, such as Optometry Giving Sight, that specifically target the prevention of blindness and impaired vision across the globe. It also includes our legislative efforts on the national and local levels to preserve patient access to contact lenses, strengthen existing health and safety protections, and support the rights of eyecare professionals.
As we raise a glass to celebrate Contact Lens Spectrum’s 30th anniversary, we look forward to the next 30 years, as our commitment continues to be providing your patients with innovative products and resources. We look forward to continuing to help do what’s best for eyecare professionals and their patients, for the development of new technology, and for the industry as a whole.
Data on file. Bausch & Lomb Incorporated. Rochester, NY; 1998, 2002-2004, 2006-2008, 2010, 2012-2016.
Here’s a brief look back at just a few of the vision care offerings we’ve introduced throughout the past three decades:
Bausch & Lomb Incorporated. ®/™ are trademarks of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated or its affiliates. AREDS2 are registered trademarks of The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Any other product/brand names are trademarks of their respective owners. BIO.0075.USA.16
EMPOWERING YOUR VISION
SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR, CONTAMAC
“May you live in interesting times,” the saying goes. These are, indeed, interesting times for the U.S. specialty contact lens market.
Far from being the curse implied by the old proverb, however, here at Contamac, we wonder whether these interesting times might not also herald a new dawn. ODs have a wider selection of contact lens geometries and materials to choose from than ever before. By combining individual geometries (custom soft, gas permeable, and sclerals) you can now not only manage customers’ eye care, but actively improve eye health and comfort, alleviating the symptoms of astigmatism, dry eye, irregular cornea, myopia, hyperopia, and presbyopia, to name a few.
Contamac supplies CL manufacturing laboratories with high-oxygen-content silicone hydrogel, hydrophilic, and GP materials, and is the only manufacturer in the world to offer them the full range of contact and intraocular lens materials. We’re proud to be part of an industry that really does make a positive difference in people’s lives. As labs continue to perfect new lens designs, we continue to develop new and better raw materials for them to work with. After all, “one size fits all” contact lens solutions can only really work on “one size fits all” eyes.
Who We Are
Contamac is a British company with an American pedigree. Our U.S. operation has been based in Grand Junction, Colorado for the last 16 years. Like most of the family-owned, independent laboratories we supply, we’re proud of our 30-year heritage as a family-owned, independent CL and IOL materials manufacturer.
Our headquarters is in Saffron Walden, England, between the capital city London and the University of Cambridge. It features 35,000 square feet of modern offices and presentation suites, clinical research and testing laboratories, manufacturing and dispatch facilities, a fully functioning contact lensfitting practice — and even its own ISO7 (Class 10,000) clean room. Both CL and IOL materials are produced in the same location, sharing the same facilities — a testament to our high manufacturing and environmental standards.
Contamac is a two-time winner of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade in 2012 and Innovation in 2016. We were the first manufacturer of contact lens materials to achieve the former ISO9002 and EN46002 — now ISO9001 and EN 13485 — British quality standard, and the first to produce a lathable soft lens material approved for use in the U.S.
So how does that affect you?
More choice means better care. We offer three FDA-approved CL material product ranges: Optimum (gas permeable), Definitive (silicone hydrogel), and Contaflex (hydrophilic). Ask your lens supplier about these materials.
Our Optimum range comes in four Dk variants, plus a large diameter (LD) option suitable for scleral lenses. Together, they deliver the most comprehensive range of properties available from a gas-permeable material. Excellent optical qualities, durability, and wettability make the Optimum range the perfect choice, while its balanced characteristics lend themselves to a variety of lens designs, such as toric, multifocal, keratoconus, or to suit corneas with a high oxygen demand.
Definitive 74 (74% water content) is our own silicone hydrogel developed specifically to be lathe-cut by manufacturers of specialty soft contact lenses. Its superior surface qualities, together with its exceptionally high oxygen permeability, result in improved wearer comfort and corneal health. In terms of handling, however, Definitive may be machined in the same manner as any other hydrogel material, and is therefore suited to the widest range of lens designs.
Finally, there is our Contaflex range, which encompasses low- to mid-water contents and includes GM Advance, the cutting edge in soft lens material innovation. GM Advance uses a unique combination of high-purity monomers to deliver exceptional on-eye stability, durability, and water retention. Patient feedback consistently confirms that it’s a recipe that delivers supreme wearer comfort.
We recognize the vital role that education plays in the specialty lens market, and in vision care as a whole. Through the years, we’ve provided educational materials and tools for practitioners and students, delivered presentations at optometry schools, supported the Global Specialty Lens Symposium, Contact Lens Society of America, and Contact Lens Manufacturers Association, and — most recently — become a platinum level sponsor of the Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS).
Working with professional bodies, training organizations and the North American Independent GP Lab Channel, Contamac is committed to supporting educational meetings and webinars on a range of subjects, and to co-sponsoring design-specific workshops and wet labs with our laboratory customers.
Trust and Partnership
Interesting times demand input from interested and engaged parties — people committed to better care, greater choice, and higher standards. Contamac is proud to be a trusted partner of the SLS and CLMA in the U.S., and of independent laboratories everywhere.
Scleral Lens Education Society: www.sclerallens.org
Contact Lens Manufacturers Association: www.clma.net
GP Lens Institute: www.gpli.info
Contact Lens Society of America: www.clsa.info
A REFRESHING PERSPECTIVE
MICHELE ANDREWS, OD
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, NORTH AMERICA, COOPERVISION
As an eyecare practitioner, the opportunities you have to change people’s lives are limitless. At the same time, you face evolving challenges to managing a successful practice. That’s why we are dedicated to supporting you. Our broad spectrum of products and services can help you acquire and retain patients, more effectively fit a greater number of wearers, and improve your bottom line. This approach, rooted in partnership, has guided us for more than four decades; we are successful only when you are.
We have an unwavering commitment to help you run and grow a successful business, to strengthen the optometric profession, and to keep you and millions of wearers happy. We are proud to share a common purpose with eyecare professionals everywhere: to help improve the way people see each day.
Who We Are
CooperVision was born at the dawn of modern contact lens technology. In the 40+ years since, we have earned a place as one of the most respected global brands in the business through our commitment to bringing innovation in product designs, materials, and services to the market to help eyecare practitioners care for their patients and build their practices.
A Lens for Every Eye – Our Key Brands
CooperVision appreciates that no two eyes, no two patients, and no two days are ever the same. We know that every wearer is unique, so we craft world-class lenses for both mainstream and challenging vision corrections. With the most complete portfolio of silicone hydrogel lenses in the world, CooperVision provides options for virtually every eye and every budget.
CooperVision MyDay® silicone hydrogel daily disposable contact lenses feature Smart Silicone™, a revolutionary breakthrough in lens chemistry that brings together everything patients need for an exceptional overall daily disposable experience: an unmatched level of softness, uncompromised comfort, handling, and performance, plus the healthy advantages of silicone hydrogel.
Efficient silicone channels within the contact lens structure allow excellent oxygen transmissibility with minimal silicone content. In fact, Smart Silicone™ optimizes oxygen permeability in a lens that’s just 4.4% silicon — the lowest percentage of silicon found in a silicone hydrogel, daily disposable lens. And it’s this uniquely low hydrophobic silicone content that means more water can be integrated into the chain structure, making the lens genuinely wettable from within — no coatings or surface treatments required.
clariti® 1 day
clariti® 1 day is the world’s first and only family of silicone hydrogel 1-day contact lenses — designed with all patients and all eyes in mind. Whether a patient is a presbyope, astigmat, myope, or hyperope, clariti® 1 day lens provides high oxygen transmissibility, high water content, low modulus, and UV protection. clariti® 1 day lenses provide exceptional ocular health and outstanding comfort. The opportunity to upgrade patients into an affordable silicone hydrogel lens, clariti® 1 day, presents a clear advantage to eyecare practitioners.
These premium silicone hydrogel monthly lenses offer patients luxurious comfort and sharp, clear vision. Biofinity® lenses are made with CooperVision’s Aquaform® Technology, which combines a unique balance of high oxygen permeability, a naturally wettable material, and optimum modulus for a softer and more flexible lens. High levels of oxygen flow though the lenses, increasing breathability and promoting a healthier lens-wearing experience.
Biofinity is designed to fit your patients with a wide range of vision needs, with availability in sphere, toric, multifocal, and extended ranges. The newest addition to the Biofinity® line, now entering the U.S. market, is Biofinity Energys™. Designed specifically for today’s digital world, the patent-pending Biofinity Energys™ with Digital Zone Optics™ lens design is pioneering contact lenses specifically created from the ground up for millions of digital device users. Biofinity Energys™ contact lenses are designed for all-day wear, helping people’s eyes better adapt so they can seamlessly and continuously shift focus between digital devices and their other daily activities.
Representing the next evolution of our Avaira® 2-week brand, Avaira® Vitality is an improved lens that provides multiple benefits through an enhanced design and material, while maintaining the same fit and price point as Avaira®. Avaira® Vitality sphere and toric lenses are made from a new material (fanfilcon A), which features a higher water content (55%) as well as higher oxygen permeability and transmissibility, resulting in better overall comfort for wearers. UV protection has also been improved to Class I, the top rating.
At CooperVision, we are singularly focused on providing our customers with the best contact lenses for their patients and the professional support needed to help their practices thrive and grow. It’s this commitment to helping our customers care for patients and build their practices that is at the core of CooperVision Advantage™ — an exclusive set of business support tools that enable eye-care practitioners to retain, attract, and grow a loyal patient base. CooperVision Advantage™ encompasses EyeCare Prime™, LensFerry, as well as CooperVision’s core offerings of product breadth/depth, promotional programs, loyalty programs, and training and education. Our new LensFerry S is a subscription service designed to increase sales of 1-day lens annual supplies and provide patients with a convenient way to order their contact lenses from your practice.
Advancing The Profession and the Practitioner
It’s our belief that the future of the practitioner and the profession of optometry are dependent on support from industry partners such as CooperVision. It’s a commitment that we share with our customers and demonstrate through our educational support for optometry students, continuing education support for practitioners, and our philanthropic support to help carry our vision forward in conjunction with these groups. Just a small sampling of our support programs includes:
A broad spectrum of exceptional contact lenses to fit virtually every patents’ needs
• Eye Care Best Practices: recognizing success in optometry by bringing to light the innovative and unexpected things that eyecare practitioners do every day to provide the best possible care to their patients.
• Soft Toric and Presbyopia Lens Education (STAPLE) Program: offering hands-on fitting workshops to optometry students, to broaden their experience and grow their confidence in fitting lenses prior to graduation.
• Adopt-a-Patient® Program: giving optometry students an opportunity to develop clinical experience, while helping patients in their community who can’t afford vision correction/care.
• Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH): supporting this organization dedicated to providing quality vision care to underserved people worldwide.
• Armed Forces Optometric Society’s Wounded Warrior Project®: offering affordable CooperVision contacts and delivery to military members and their families.
• Optometry Giving Sight: supporting this global fund-raising initiative that targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error.
A Bright Future
The optometry profession is evolving faster than ever — in terms of consumer expectations; in practice management; and in new technologies, materials, designs, and approaches that help us achieve our shared purpose. As these evolutions occur, so does the potential for eye care practitioners to be even more valued and appreciated by their patients as their roles expand into areas known and unknown.
As we develop visionary solutions for patients and eye care practitioners, CooperVision is leading the way with technological innovation in contact lenses and related services. We are 100% committed, as we know our customers are, to helping to improve the way people see each day — today, tomorrow, and beyond.
CELEBRATING 35 YEARS
PRESIDENT & CEO, VALLEY CONTAX, INC.
Nestled among the tall pines and mountain peaks of the Pacific Northwest is a custom contact lens manufacturer with a refreshing view toward serving eyecare professionals. Since its founding in 1981, the goal and mantra of Valley Contax has been “Dedicated to Your Success” — that is, dedicated to the success of our customers. This forward-thinking approach puts our focus in the right place — not simply on selling lenses, but rather on striving for excellence in product innovation and customer experience. As a result, we are more than just a supplier to our customers — we’re their partner.
The Custom Stable Scleral
The Valley Contax product lineup includes our stellar line of corneal GPs and our flagship product, the Custom Stable™, a line of scleral lenses that can fit virtually any cornea — regular or irregular. One of the first modern sclerals to market, these lenses smoothly vault the cornea and create a natural tear chamber that provides maximum comfort and hydration. Successful fits result in exceptional visual acuity and a wear time of 12 to 14 hours.
The Custom Stable comes in three variations: Prime, Elite, and Aurora. The spherical Custom Stable Prime is the base lens and is an excellent choice for corneas with little or no toricity. The Custom Stable Elite is our most popular lens in the series. This go-to lens can be customized by having toricity added to both the front and back surfaces, allowing it to fit almost any cornea. The Custom Stable Aurora is a front-surface multi-focal with the same back surface as the Custom Stable Elite. This lens achieves all of the demanding vision distances of today’s presbyopes. It is a design that uses a dominant (distance center)/non-dominant (near center) system that works in unison with the patientand accommodative demands.
The Custom Stable was used in a clinical study performed by Ferris State University Michigan College of Optometry’s Vision Research Institute. The study, which focused on the use of scleral lenses on normal corneas, found that 77% of participants significantly improved their vision and maintained a high level of comfort while wearing the Custom Stable. In addition, after wearing the Custom Stable for a month, the majority of participants responded that they were either satisfied or very satisfied.
An Amazing Team
Helping our customers succeed begins with an amazing and talented staff — people who are passionate about what they do. In the production department, team members are trained to ensure that each and every lens is manufactured to the highest standards. From lathing to polishing to quality checking, every aspect of the lens-manufacturing process is closely monitored by our expert technicians, resulting in optimal end-products every time.
Every fit is different, and getting the right answer to our customers’ questions, quickly, is important. At Valley Contax, we’ve assembled an amazing support team to help practitioners get excellent results. Practitioners can call and receive live support over the phone or use the live chat feature on our website to conveniently get answers to their questions. For more advanced problems, our team of highly skilled in-house consultants is available to assist fitters in dialing in the right parameters for any contact lens design.
The Valley Contax team
Custom Stable contact lenses
We’ve also assembled a team of regional education consultants who are available for in-depth specialty lens training for schools and practices. This team is made up of doctors who are passionate about fitting custom contact lenses — especially our premier product, the Custom Stable. They can create customized learning experiences tailored to the needs of a specific audience.
Investing in Excellence
From the beginning, Valley Contax has set itself apart by investing in the people and technology necessary to create the best possible practitioner experience. We do this because we know that for practioners, selling great lenses is only part of the equation to finding success. In addition to continual innovation and stellar products, it’s critical to offer excellent, always-accessible customer support, top-notch educational resources, and fitting tools that ensure success.
Valley Contax offers several unique training opportunities to practitioners looking to sharpen their GP-fitting skills. Custom Stable Fridays are intimate and unique scleral workshops that are held every two months at our state-of-the-art facility (check valleycontax.com for upcoming dates). Attendees learn scleral fitting theory, get hands-on fitting experience, and have their lenses made on-site the same day.
At valleycontax.com, we offer the Custom Stable Training Course, which consists of a 17-minute training video followed by a short quiz. The high-quality video does an excellent job of covering scleral lens theory, application, removal, and troubleshooting. After watching the video, users can take the short quiz. With a passing score, they receive a certificate of completion and a discount on a Custom Stable fitting set.
Utilizing an air-bearing computerized lathe to manufacture a custom contact lens from a GP material blank
Investing in the Future
We believe in the future of optometry and are involved with many colleges of optometry across the country. We invest in tomorrow’s practitioners through workshops and presentations, and host on-site student days for third- and fourth-year optometry students. At these events, students get hands-on lens-fitting experience, design their own lens, and then watch as it is manufactured. In addition, Valley Contax supports the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) through trade shows and our unique compact-fitting-set program. Once per year, we allow third- and fourth-year students who pass our Custom Stable Training Course to receive a compact five-lens fitting set.
Building Practices That Change Lives
We love hearing success stories, and we hear a lot of them. Our practitioner partners often write or call to tell us how our lenses have transformed a patient’s life. At the end of the day, our business is about changing lives. We strive to do this by continually investing in technologies that make fitting our lenses easier and more intuitive. It’s our goal going forward to continue to focus on the success of our vision partners, so that lives can be changed.
Valley Contax. Clinical Analysis of Scleral Lenses on Regular Corneas. Available online: http://valleycontax.com/vri_clinical_study.php; accessed July 27, 2016.