JOHNSON & JOHNSON VISION LAUNCHES MYACUVUE SUBSCRIPTION PROGRAM
Johnson & Johnson Vision launched its MyAcuvue Subscription Program that, according to the company, was developed to provide contact lens wearers with greater access and convenience when purchasing an annual supply of Acuvue Brand contact lenses through their eyecare professional.
Following a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting with an eyecare professional, patients have the option to purchase an annual supply of lenses whereby they can either maximize savings by using MyAcuvue Rewards or spread out the cost into affordable payments with MyAcuvue Subscription.
Orders through the subscription program are placed through the eyecare professional’s practice and shipped directly from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. to the contact lens wearer. There are no fees to the eyecare practice to participate. In addition, shipping is free, and the program will allow lens wearers to use their full insurance benefit. Eyecare practices set pricing for their patients. The MyAcuvue Subscription Program is offered through Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. ■
DryEyeAccess.com , a subscription-based education website that helps ophthalmology and optometry practices understand how to identify, diagnose, and treat patients who have dry eye disease, is now available.
DryEyeAccess.com is built on content developed for Dry Eye University, a dry eye education program that was created by clinicians and staff at Bowden Eye & Associates in Jacksonville, FL. It is supported by four distinct advisory boards: an ophthalmology board, an optometry board, an administrator board, and a board composed of leaders from different eyecare companies.
The web site consists of more than 25 clinical learning modules, white papers, case studies, diagnostic and therapeutic product overviews, implementation protocols, and information that includes everything from staff training to financing. Future modules will extend beyond clinical information to present education, insights, and resources that address the business challenges and patient education needs that are unique to dry eye disease. ■
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COOPERVISION’S OPTIEXPERT APP NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
CooperVision’s OptiExpert app, which has been updated with U.S. and Canadian data, provides a series of tools that aid in contact lens-related decision support and patient communication, including confidence-building multifocal and toric calculators plus oxygen profiles. OptiExpert includes diagnostic lens recommendations from CooperVision product families, including Clariti 1 day, MyDay, Biofinity, Avaira Vitality, and Proclear.
The app is available for free for iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play. With this launch, OptiExpert is now available in 15 languages and in 76 countries and territories. ■
BHVI UNVEILS GLOBAL MYOPIA CENTRE
Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) has announced the new online Global Myopia Centre. The platform will host the global online Myopia Education Program, several online tools for myopia management, global prevalence data, the latest relevant peer-reviewed references, and information and resources for advocacy initiatives. The Global Myopia Centre, which is found at www.globalmyopiacentre.org , went live on Nov. 7, 2018. ■
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPTOMETRY ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DEPARTURE
The American Academy of Optometry has announced that its long-serving executive director, Lois Schoenbrun, will step down from her position in April 2019. Ms. Schoenbrun has been executive director of the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation since 1996.
The organization is initiating a search to identify a new leader. It has formed a search committee to oversee the process and has retained executive search firm Vetted Solutions to coordinate the search. The search will commence immediately, and the organization’s goal is to have a new executive director identified by Feb. 1, 2019. ■
ABB OPTICAL GROUP DONATES $14,000 THROUGH FIFTH ANNUAL ABB CARES PROGRAM
ABB Optical Group announced that seven non-profit organizations, nominated by eyecare professionals nationwide, will receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for outstanding programming and community impact through the Fifth Annual ABB Cares Program.
A platinum ABB Cares grant of $5,000 went to Extra Special People, Inc. Gold ABB Cares grants of $2,500 went to Santa Maria Hostel, Inc., and Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic. Silver ABB Cares grants of $1,000 went to Alameda Education Foundation, Global Glimpse, Special Kids Connect, and Interfaith Outreach. For more information about these ABB Cares recipients, visit https://www.abboptical.com/about-us/pressroom/10_29_2018 . ■
ESSILOR APPOINTS KOVIN NAIDOO SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF INCLUSIVE BUSINESS, PHILANTHROPY AND SOCIAL IMPACT
Essilor announced the appointment of Professor Kovin Naidoo as senior vice president of Inclusive Business, Philanthropy and Social Impact. In this newly created position, Professor Naidoo will lead the group’s efforts to reach the 2.5 billion people living with uncorrected poor vision through inclusive business and philanthropy.
Professor Naidoo most recently served as associate professor of Optometry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), is the former CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute, and is the former Africa Chair of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. This year, he was recognized by the American Academy of Optometry with the Carel C. Koch Memorial Medal Award for his outstanding contributions to the enhancement and development of relationships between optometry and other professions. ■
EUCLID SYSTEMS CORPORATION APPOINTS DAVID BLAND AS VICE PRESIDENT OF U.S. SALES
Euclid Systems Corporation announced the appointment of David Bland as the new vice president of sales. Effective Oct. 30, Mr. Bland will lead the company’s U.S. sales efforts to assist eyecare professionals with expanding their practices through orthokeratology in the field of myopia management. His primary responsibilities will include strengthening customer partnerships, launching new products and programs, and executing strategic initiatives in the United States.
He joins Euclid Systems Corporation from Bausch + Lomb, where he held a leadership role in the Specialty Vision Products business unit. Mr. Bland brings more than 30 years of experience in specialty eye care, leadership, business strategy, and building high-performance teams. ■
OPTI 2019 INTRODUCES NEW LECTURE SERIES
Opti 2019 will feature “Keen on contact lenses.” The show is scheduled for Jan. 25 through 27, 2019 at Fairground Munich in Germany. The lectures have been organized by the Spectaris contact lens group. Taking place on all three days of the trade show, the lecture series will focus on myopia management on Friday, industry impulses on Saturday, and professional follow-up inspections on Sunday. ■
J&J VISION APPOINTS CAROL ALEXANDER, OD, AS HEAD, NORTH AMERICA VISION CARE PROFESSIONAL RELATIONS
Johnson & Johnson Vision (J&J Vision) appointed Carol Alexander, OD, as Head, North America Vision Care Professional Relations for Johnson & Johnson Vision. In this role, Dr. Alexander will work to strengthen the relationship between Johnson & Johnson Vision and the optometric community in the United States, with a focus on partnering with national optometric associations and organizations to advance eye health and patient care. She will continue to partner with Mike Mayers, OD, in supporting the company’s advocacy efforts. ■
CORE APPOINTS DR. WILLIAM NGO AS HEAD OF BIOSCIENCES
The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) has appointed William Ngo, PhD, OD, as head of Biosciences. Dr. Ngo is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry and will join CORE in early 2019.
Dr. Ngo’s research interests include clinical diagnosis and management of dry eye disease, contact lens discomfort, tear film biology and chemistry, and the mechanisms of oxidative stress in meibomian gland disease. During his schooling, he was a two-time American Academy of Optometry Foundation Ezell Fellow, was awarded the Desmond Fonn Contact Lens Research Award from the University of Waterloo, and received multiple grants from the Canadian Optometric Education Trust Fund. ■
SNEC, SERI, and J&J VISION ANNOUNCE RESEARCH COLLABORATION
The Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), and Johnson & Johnson Vision (J&J Vision) announced a $26.35 million research collaboration to tackle myopia. Specifically, J&J Vision is making a $15.78 million investment, comprising cash and in-kind contributions, while SERI’s investment is $10.57 million in cash and in-kind contributions.
The first-of-its-kind public-private strategic partnership in Asia focused on myopia will create a deeper understanding of how the condition develops, how it progresses, and how it may be intercepted. It will focus on developing predictive tools to identify those who may be at risk to develop high myopia, conduct research on the underlying mechanisms of myopia, progress novel therapies, and discover and validate methods to prevent the onset and progression of the condition.
Due to the complexity and scale of myopia, SNEC, SERI, and Johnson & Johnson Vision intend to build on these efforts and convene other stakeholders to support broad-based strategies. ■
COOPERVISION’S MYOPIA MANAGEMENT EXPERT FORUM
A panel of global authorities in myopia management gathered in Texas last month, preceding the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) Annual Meeting, to seek ways to help eyecare professionals better assess and manage the growing myopia epidemic among children. The Myopia Management Expert Forum was conceived by CooperVision, which hosted the series of lectures, guided discussions, and professional networking sessions. Discussions covered new study data regarding contact lens management for slowing myopia progression, the impact of orthokeratology in China, the safe use of contact lenses by children, and more. ■
GLOBAL FORUM: SPECIALTY LENS RESEARCH
Global Forum: Specialty Lens Research (GFSLR) is a unique meeting functioning as a think tank, to which everyone can be a contributor. While in Las Vegas at the Global Specialty Lens Symposium, simply extend your stay one more day to attend GFSLR on Jan. 27, 2019.
Questions being discussed this year include: Corneal environment under a scleral lens – normoxic or hypoxic? How is our understanding of ocular asymmetry and dimensions shaping up? and Presbyopia – translating lenses and what else works?
To find out more and to register, visit https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/gsls19/gfslr . ■
- Johnson & Johnson Vision announced that Acuvue Oasys with Transitions was issued a medical device license by Health Canada. According to the company, these contact lenses function by adjusting from clear to dark in response to changing light conditions, balancing the amount of light entering the eye, including filtering blue light, as well as blocking harmful UV rays.
- Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products (B+L SVP) announced that Cris Garza has joined the business as a fitting consultant with Alden Optical. In this role, he will provide customers with assistance in fitting Alden’s custom contact lenses, including Zenlens, Zen RC, and NovaKone. Prior to joining the Alden Optical team at B+L, Mr. Garza was working as a senior technical product specialist for SynergEyes. He is a Fellow of the Contact Lens Society of America and has earned the Master in Contact Lens Technology designation from the National Contact Lens Examiners.
- OcuMedic, Inc. announced that the European Patent Office has granted the patent Contact Drug Delivery System, covering the company’s intellectual property for timed-released delivery of drugs directly to the eye through prescription soft contact lenses. The claims allowed by the patent cover extended-wear contact lenses that deliver a wide variety of drugs for the treatment of conditions, such as glaucoma and dry eye, as well as a controlled release of anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and pain-reducing drugs for postoperative care for procedures such as cataract surgery and LASIK. In addition, OcuMedic appointed Lynn Winterton, PhD, as a key member of its Scientific Advisory Board. He also has taken an ownership position with the company. Dr. Winterton is an internationally recognized expert in polymeric biomaterials and contact lens research and development. He worked for 30 years with Ciba Vision and Alcon, Novartis companies, where he held various research leadership and corporate executive roles.
- Eyevance Pharmaceuticals announced the acquisition of Flarex (fluorometholone acetate ophthalmic suspension) 0.1% from Novartis AG. U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved Flarex is indicated for the treatment of steroid responsive inflammatory conditions of the palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva, cornea, and anterior segment of the eye.
- Orasis Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing a corrective eye drop for the treatment of presbyopia as an alternative to reading glasses, announced the appointment of Jeffry Weinhuff as chairman of the board of directors. As a managing partner of Visionary Ventures, Mr. Weinhuff joins the Orasis board of directors in conjunction with the recent Series B financing led by venture capital fund Visionary Ventures.
- ABB Optical Group has announced that Jonathan Mish has joined the company as chief information officer. In his new position, Mr. Mish will be responsible for overseeing the company’s information technology (IT) department and leveraging technology to improve business operations and to deliver effective technology services and solutions. Prior to joining ABB Optical Group, he served as vice president of IT strategic operations for Ryder System, a provider of transportation and supply chain management products. He previously served as vice president of IT business transformation for Brightstar Corp. and as senior manager of IT corporate systems for Burger King Corporation.
- Aveo Vision launched its new online vision test, making it even easier to order Aveo Hello contact lenses from the comfort of your home, according to the company. This allows customers to take an online vision test from their computer and/or mobile phone, have their prescription renewed by a licensed eye-care professional, and order daily disposable contact lenses—all with the click of a button. The new online refractive eye test, which costs $20, is delivered through a partnership with Opternative.
- Eyepoint Pharmaceuticals announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has assigned a specific and permanent reimbursement J-code through the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) for Dexycu (dexamethasone intraocular suspension) 9%. Dexycu is an FDA-approved, single dose, sustained-release, intracameral steroid for the treatment of postoperative inflammation. The code, J1095, will become effective on Jan. 1, 2019 and will replace the previously issued C-code (C9034) that became effective on Oct. 1, 2018. The company still retains transitional pass-through status for Dexycu from CMS for approximately three years.