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NEWS SPECTRUM

AB 443 EXPANDS SCOPE OF PRACTICE FOR CALIFORNIA OPTOMETRISTS

California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 443, a bill authored by Assembly Member Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) that enables doctors of optometry to safely expand the number of procedures that they may offer to patients.

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, AB 443 will allow therapeutic pharmaceutical agent (TPA)-certified doctors of optometry to use all non-controlled substance medications, noninvasive medical devices, and technology that are FDA-indicated for a condition that optometrists can treat. As new technologies are made available, the State Board of Optometry may authorize their use by optometrists via regulation. In addition, the bill clarifies that optometrists may prescribe currently allowable drugs “off label”; clarifies that TPA optometrists may treat blepharitis; allows TPA optometrists to use a skin test limited to the superficial layer of the skin to diagnose ocular allergies; and more.

The full text of the bill can be read at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB443 .

IMPRIMIS LAUNCHES COMPOUNDED CYCLOSPORINE-BASED FORMULATIONS

Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an ophthalmology-focused pharmaceutical company, announced that it is making compounded cyclosporine-based formulations. These formulations, which will be packaged in a multi-use preservative-free bottle, are patent-pending and include Klarity Drops.

The company states that the Imprimis cyclosporine-based formulations, which are made from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug components and compounded in FDA-inspected facilities, require a patient-specific prescription and may be customized according to patients’ individual needs.

The initial prescription will cost 99 cents for a one-month supply. Refills will cost $79, including shipping. The company says that it will begin marketing the compounded cyclosporine formulation to eye-care practitioners who currently use Imprimis, and the company will begin filling its patients’ orders right away.

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CCLR TO CHANGE ITS NAME TO CORE

Beginning Jan. 2018, the Centre for Contact Lens Research (CCLR) at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science will adopt a new name: The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE).

The organization’s new logo echoes its primary focus on the eye, according to CORE. Interlocking elements in distinct blue, green, and orange colors represent biosciences, clinical research, and education expertise coming together in support of the organization’s mission.

The CORE brand was premiered at the American Academy of Optometry’s 96th annual meeting on Oct. 11 in Chicago. In conjunction, CORE commissioned Los Angeles-based artist John Park to co-create a massive 12-foot x 8-foot acrylic mural during the meeting, depicting the complexity and potential of the eye and sight. All badged attendees were invited to visit the CORE booth and add their own distinctive brush strokes to the one-of-a-kind portrait. The mural was completed on the show floor on Friday, Oct. 13, then formally unveiled at an evening reception. It will be permanently installed at CORE headquarters at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science in Waterloo, Ontario.

The official CORE name change will occur following final ratification by the University of Waterloo Board of Governors.

ABB OPTICAL GROUP RELEASES YEAR-TO-DATE INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

According to data from ABB Optical Group, a resource for identifying industry trends and projecting areas of future growth, daily disposable contact lenses dominated market share from January through September 2017.

The data represent organic practice growth or same-store sales within ABB Optical Group and show that:

  • Dollar growth of soft contact lenses was up 7.4%, fueled by the daily disposable modality, which grew nearly 20%.
  • Daily disposables captured a market share of 44% compared to the declining two-week modality, which is at 21%.
  • Dollar growth of multifocals was up 15%, and dollar growth of torics was up 11%.

AAOF ANNOUNCES 2017 JOHNSON & JOHNSON VISION RESIDENCY AWARDS

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) recently announced the recipients of the 2017 Johnson & Johnson Vision Residency Awards:

Terrance N. Ingraham Pediatric Residency Award: Amanda E. Beaudry, OD, MS, Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University, and Kristen L. Kerber, OD, MS, New England College of Optometry.

George Mertz Contact Lens Residency Award: Jamie Kuzniar, OD, Indiana University School of Optometry; Kelsy R. Steele, OD, MS, The Ohio State University College of Optometry; and Grace Liao, OD, Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University.

Sheldon Wechsler Contact Lens Residency Award: Trevor J. Fosso, OD, Illinois College of Optometry; Emily M. Korszen, OD, Pacific University College of Optometry; and Jessica Jose, OD, Illinois College of Optometry.

These residents were recognized last month at the annual AAO meeting.

BOSTONSIGHT ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP

BostonSight and the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), a nonprofit, non-government eyecare institution located in Hyderabad, India, announced a global partnership to manufacture and distribute BostonSight scleral contact lenses.

LVPEI will manufacture and distribute BostonSight scleral lenses to practitioners for their patients in India, South East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. This is the first time that BostonSight scleral lenses will be fabricated outside of the United States. Both organizations serve and subsidize under-privileged populations who benefit from access to this unique treatment solution that oftentimes is the only vision impairment alleviation for a variety of ocular surface disorders.

AAOF NAMES THE 2017 KORB-EXFORD DRY EYE CAREER DEVELOPMENT GRANT RECIPIENT

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) has awarded the inaugural 2017 Korb-Exford Dry Eye Career Development Grant to Srihari Narayanan, OD, PhD, a professor at the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry. His proposal, titled “Meibomian Gland Dysfunction management to relieve contact lens discomfort,” was chosen out of 12 very competitive proposals. The proposed study will provide clinically useful data for the management of contact lens discomfort associated with meibomian gland dysfunction. Dr. Narayanan was honored at the AAOF Celebration Luncheon during the American Academy of Optometry’s Annual Meeting in Chicago.

BIO-TISSUE ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF NEW PROKERA CODING GUIDE

Bio-Tissue, Inc., a business unit of TissueTech, Inc., announced that a new Prokera Medical Coding and Compliance Guide is now available for practitioners. John Rumpakis, OD, MBA, a leading authority on medical coding and compliance issues in eye care, developed the Prokera Medical Coding and Compliance Guide, which Bio-Tissue says provides practitioners with all of the information needed for medical coding and billing of Prokera. This includes medical necessity and importance, ocular use and approval, Merit-based Incentive Program (MIPS) and the health economics of Prokera, considerations for insurance companies and Medicare, modifiers and their use, valuable reference material, and more.

FOR THE RECORD

In the 2017 Contact Lenses & Solutions Summary, on p. 12 under Toric Disposable and/or Planned Replacement Hydrogels, the Acuvue Oasys Brand 1-Day for Astigmatism lens (Johnson & Johnson Vision) lists incorrect cylinders for the plus powers. For lenses with sphere powers of +0.25D to +4.00D, the available cylinder powers are –0.75D, –1.25D, and –1.75D. This sphere power range is not available in the –2.25D cylinder. The listing is corrected in the downloadable PDF available at www.clspectrum.com/CLASS .

VISION EXPO PARTNERS WITH OPTICON

International Vision Expo and OptiCon have announced a partnership to bring OptiCon’s optician and contact lens technician education program to the largest gathering of eyewear and eyecare professionals in the Americas.

Beginning in 2018, the dedicated educational programing previously found at OptiCon, plus additional sourcing and networking opportunities for opticians and contact lens technicians, will be offered alongside the expansive International Vision Expo continuing education program. OptiCon @ Vision Expo is designed to provide opticians and contact lens technicians with the highest quality and most affordable opportunity to learn, source, and network with peers. In addition, attendees will find a new show floor destination designed specifically for opticians and contact lens technicians—the “OptiCon Hub”—hosting pop-up talks, networking, social events, and access to representatives and resources from ABO&NCLE, NAO, OAA, CLSA, and NFOS as well as vendor partners.

This partnership provides the same preferred pricing structures previously available at OptiCon shows. Now at Vision Expo, opticians and contact lens technicians have access to a comprehensive education package that includes:

  • 15 hours of ABO&NCLE continuing education
  • Exhibit hall access
  • Lunch vouchers
  • Tailored special events including a general session, welcome party, and peer networking
  • Access to discounted rates at a dedicated OptiCon hotel

Educational programming will cover four key areas: spectacles, contact lenses, business, and exam review. In addition, opticians and contact lens technicians can now take ABO&NCLE review courses and sit for the exams at both Vision Expo East and West. Visit www.visionexpo.com .

SCLERAL LENS BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

Bentham Science Publishers is publishing Contemporary Scleral Lenses: Theory and Application. This in-depth book covers the history and evolution of scleral lenses, basic scleral lens structure, optics and customizable features of scleral lenses, analysis of ocular surface shape, ocular surface topography, and advances in technology. These topics provide an explanation of how to utilize diagnostic equipment and enable practitioners to employ a scientific and objective approach to scleral lens fitting. Geared for students and practitioners alike, there are clinical pearls throughout the text that can even enhance the practice style of seasoned scleral lens practitioners.

Drs. Melissa Barnett and Lynette Johns edited the book, with the unique perspectives and contributions of international experts including: Bruce Baldwin, Jan Bergmanson, Tim Bowden, Patrick Caroline, Karen Carrasquillo, Gregory DeNaeyer, Barry Eiden, Karolien Elving-Kokke, Damon Ezekiel, Don Ezekiel, Deborah Jacobs, Jason Jedlicka, Randy Kojima, Carina Koppen, Jennifer Li, Michael J. Lipson, Jason Marsack, Jennifer McMahon, Brooke Messer, Langis Michaud, Henny Otten, Young Kee Park, Ken Pullum, Perry Rosenthal, Muriel Schornack, Jeffrey Sonsino, Mindy Toabe, Eef van der Worp, Esther-Simone Visser, Rients Visser, Maria K. Walker, Stephanie Woo, and Geunyoung Yoon.

Pre-order for a 15% discount off either the e-book or print copy at https://ebooks.benthamscience.com/book/9781681085661/ .

INDUSTRY BRIEFS

  • Bausch + Lomb’s Specialty Vision Products (B+L SVP) Business has expanded its fitting consultation hours at Alden Optical from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. These expanded hours will provide eyecare professionals with additional access to Alden Optical’s team of consultants, all FCLSA trained, while providing them with the tools they need to provide the best care to patients who have challenging visual conditions, according to the company. In other news, B+L SVP now offers a Boston Materials Guarantee. If patients are not 100% satisfied with the wettability or breakability of any Boston lens material for six months, they may work through their eyecare professional to exchange it for an equivalent lens manufactured from Boston GP lens material. The guarantee is available through participating Authorized Boston Manufacturers, including Alden Optical and Unilens.
  • Lyndon Jones, a professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science and director of the Centre for Contact Lens Research at the University of Waterloo, was awarded a Fellowship of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS). CAHS Fellows, who serve as unpaid volunteers, are nominated by their institutions and peers and are selected in a competitive process based on their internationally recognized leadership, academic performance, scientific creativity, and willingness to serve.
  • The California Optometric Association (COA) announced that past president Harue Marsden, OD, was honored by the Great Western Council of Optometry’s “Lifetime Achievement” award. Dr. Marsden was a leader and educator in the profession of optometry until her passing in February 2017, following a long battle with cancer.
  • Nicox S.A.’s subsidiary Nicox Ophthalmics, Inc. has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Eyevance Pharmaceuticals LLC for the commercialization of Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution) 0.24% in the United States. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2017, Zerviate (formerly AC-170) is the first topical ocular formulation of the antihistamine cetirizine approved for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis.
  • Keeler Americas and MST have reorganized to integrate the product range of sister Halma Medical sector company, Accutome. Keeler has taken on the Accutome clinical and diagnostic lines, while MST has absorbed the Accutome surgical line. Keeler’s new ‘Accutome by Keeler’ brand offers a full complement of clinical pharmaceuticals and supplies; measuring devices including pachymetry, tonometry, and A-Scan; and ultrasound imaging equipment, including the 4-Sight, B-Scan, and UBM. By consolidating these products with Keeler’s established binocular indirects, cryo, slit lamps, tonometers, and other diagnostic equipment, customers will benefit from access to all of the eyecare products that they require for their patients and practices, according to Keeler. Product information and support for all Accutome products remains available at www.accutome.com or by phone at (800) 979-2020, until further notice.
  • Prevent Blindness has declared November as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month to help educate the public on the effects of diabetes on vision, types of diabetic eye disease, risk factors, and treatment options. Prevent Blindness offers a variety of free resources dedicated to the education of diabetic eye disease including its dedicated website at preventblindness.org/diabetes . All people who have diabetes are at risk of developing eye disease that can permanently damage their vision and even lead to blindness. However, there are steps that can be taken to help prevent diabetic eye disease, including: 1) Maintaining good blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol control; 2) Getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam and/or obtaining retinal photographs that are examined by an eyecare practitioner at least once a year or more often as recommended; 3) Women who have diabetes prior to pregnancy should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam early in their pregnancy. The practitioner may recommend additional exams during pregnancy; and 4) Keeping a healthy lifestyle that includes exercising regularly, not smoking, and following a healthy diet.
  • Walman Optical is conducting a Retail Price Survey as a service to its customers and other interested eyecare professionals (ECPs). The survey will remain open through Nov. 30, 2017, at which time the results will be analyzed and compiled into a report illustrating national and regional trends in ECP pricing practices. All individual data is confidential. A Walman Optical account is not required to participate, and all participants will have the option to receive a copy of the report when available. To participate in the survey, visit www.walmanoptical.com/retailpricereport .