One of the more troubling things we often see at this time of year in the United State is reports of patients buying decorative contact lenses from unauthorized sources for cosmetic wear and costumes. As you know, this can be associated with devastating consequences to the eye. Hopefully you are able to stay ahead of these issues in your practice, although it is likely that the patients coming to see you in practice are not the ones that should worry us. We are thankful to the many organizations that help promote the continued messages regarding safe contact lens wearing habits, especially this time of year.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
ABB Optical Group to Acquire Diversified Ophthalmics and MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics
ABB Optical Group has agreed to acquire Diversified Ophthalmics, Inc. and partner company MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics. Financials were not disclosed.
Combining the complementary geographic operations of Diversified and MidSouth in the central U.S. with the strong logistics network ABB Optical already has along the east and west coasts, the merger represents a good fit of business models as both organizations currently operate across four major core businesses:
distribution of a full range of soft contact lenses;
manufacturing and distribution of ophthalmic lenses and eyewear;
GP and custom soft manufacturing; and
support of practice management and buying groups (ABB Optical’s Primary Eyecare Network and Diversified’s ECP Network).
In addition to its corporate headquarters and distribution center in Florida, ABB Optical Group also has a distribution facility in Marshfield, MA; a distribution facility and its Digital Eye Lab in Hawthorne, NY; and a distribution facility, manufacturing labs for gas permeable and custom soft lenses, as well as its Primary Eyecare Network, in Alameda, CA. The company was founded in 1989.
Diversified Ophthalmics, Inc. was founded in Cincinnati in 1977 and has offices and labs in Spokane, WA, Columbia, SC, Milwaukee and Houston. MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics got its start in 1976, and with primary facilities in Nashville, Memphis and Atlanta, manages multiple labs and distribution facilities across the south.
Customers of ABB Optical Group, Diversified Ophthalmics and MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics will experience business as usual. ABB Optical Group has committed to further invest in facilities, inventory, technology and people to enhance overall customer experience and range of offerings.
NaturalVue Multifocal QuickStart Calculator Now Available
Visioneering Technologies, Inc. has introduced the NaturalVue Multifocal QuickStart Calculator, a web-based tool designed to help practitioners fit the company’s NaturalVue Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses.
The NaturalVue Multifocal QuickStart Calculator provides the optimal starting lens powers and only requires the patient’s best corrected spectacle refraction and vertex distance. The calculator also provides powers for vision enhancements, if needed. This tool should enable practitioners to achieve more immediate success with the NaturalVue Multifocal.
According to the company, practitioners who use the new NaturalVue Multifocal QuickStart Calculator with the NaturalVue Multifocal Fitting Success Tool can expect to experience a 90-100% patient purchase rate (based on data from VTI accounts) and NaturalVue Multifocal has demonstrated a repurchase rate of 92%.
The 2017 Global Specialty Lens Symposium will be held January 26-29, 2017 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The GSLS is a must-attend meeting, brought to you by Contact Lens Spectrum, focusing on the successful management of ocular conditions using today's specialty contact lenses. This meeting will include insightful presentations by international experts in the field, hands-on demonstrations of cutting-edge products and valuable continuing education credits.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced the execution of definitive agreements by its wholly owned subsidiary for the acquisition of Ocular Technologies, Sarl (OTS), a portfolio company of Auven Therapeutics, an international private equity company. OTS owns exclusive, worldwide rights to Seciera (cyclosporine A, 0.09% ophthalmic solution), which OTS is developing for the treatment of dry eye disease. Sun Pharma will pay Auven US$ 40 million upfront, plus contingent development milestones and sales milestones, as well as tiered royalty on sales of Seciera, as consideration for this acquisition.
Seciera is currently in a Phase-3 confirmatory clinical trial for the treatment of dry eye disease. Seciera is a patented, novel, proprietary formulation of cyclosporine A 0.09%. It is a clear, preservative-free, aqueous solution. According to the company, in a completed Phase 2b/3 clinical trial in 455 patients, Seciera demonstrated a rapid onset of action and was well tolerated by the study population. Based on the published data in literature, the efficacy and safety endpoints in these trials compared favorably to other formulations of cyclosporine A.
Sun Ophthalmics (the branded ophthalmics division of Sun Pharma’s wholly owned subsidiary) is likely to launch BromSite (bromfenac ophthalmic solution) 0.075% in U.S. in the near future, indicated for the treatment of postoperative inflammation and prevention of ocular pain in patients undergoing cataract surgery. Other candidates in Sun Ophthalmics development pipeline include Xelpros (latanoprost 0.005% ophthalmic solution), being explored for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure in patients with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, and DexaSite (dexamethasone) 0.1%, being explored for the treatment of blepharitis.
The transaction is expected to be completed by end of 2016.
Lipson Joins B+L Specialty Vision Products as Consultant
Michael Lipson, OD, FAAO, optometrist/assistant professor of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, at the Northville Location, has joined the Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products business as an independent consultant, responsible for lecturing and training eye care professionals on specialty contact lenses with an emphasis on orthokeratology.
Lipson brings extensive academic and private practice experience on contact lenses, with emphasis on specialty contact lenses for overnight corneal reshaping, keratoconus, post-corneal transplant, post-refractive surgery and severe dry eye patients. His clinical research as the principle investigator for studies on corneal reshaping, vision-related quality of life, myopia control and new lens designs has been published in peer-reviewed journals.
In addition to his academic experience, Lipson is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. and has also lectured nationally and internationally on specialty contact lens and research topics.
One estimate indicates that there are approximately 70,000 scleral contact lens wearers in the United States, a number that will likely grow in the coming years because of the advent of better scleral contact lens materials and designs.1 Scleral contact lenses are typically prescribed to patients who have advanced corneal disorders (e.g., keratoconus),2 though the modality is becoming an accepted treatment for patients who have dry eyes or even normal eyes.3 While modern scleral contact lenses are growing in popularity, there is still a paucity of data on their associated complications.1,3 In general, scleral contact lenses are believed to be safe and have a comparable rate of complications to other contact lenses; nevertheless, a scleral contact lens specific complication, midday fogging, has emerged.1
Midday scleral contact lens fogging results in blurred vision, which is typically treated by removing, refilling the contact lens with non-preserved saline solution, and reapplying the same contact lens.1 Midday fogging can be viewed with a slit-lamp biomicroscope or even with optical coherence tomography (OCT).1 The full composition of the fogging material is not known, though lipids may be a primary component.1 Frequent fogging can potentially be treated by applying a viscous artificial tear to the contact lens bowl prior to application or by changing the contact lens fit, though these treatments have not been clinically proven.1
Since midday fogging is believed to be frequent (20-33%, though true incidence unknown), you should educate all of your scleral contact lens patients that it may happen, and you should educate them on how to treat it.1 While midday fogging is an issue, it generally does not prohibit scleral contact lens use, especially since many scleral contact lens wearers are highly motivated by the superior vision and comfort provided by scleral contact lenses compared to other lens options.2
1. Walker MK, Bergmanson JP, Miller WL, Marsack JD, Johnson LA. Complications and fitting challenges associated with scleral contact lenses: A review. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2016;39:88-96.
2. Bergmanson JP, Walker MK, Johnson LA. Assessing Scleral Contact Lens Satisfaction in a Keratoconus Population. Optom Vis Sci. 2016;93:855-860.
3. Bergmanson JP, Barnett M, Naroo SA. Scleral gas permeable lenses have come of age. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2016;39:247-248.
When was the last time that you sat down with your team and reviewed all the contact lens options that you prescribe in the office? When did you last review solutions, cases, and replacement schedules?
Our team is far more instrumental in the contact lens process than we can ever know. They get asked questions all day long from patients who forgot to ask you something in the exam room. They get called by new and old patients about their lens wear. If not reminded, many of the patients just make assumptions about what they think that they should do. Their habits may go to overwear, generic solutions, improper cleaning, or a host of any other behaviors that are less than ideal.
I urge you to consider a process in your practice to review the things that you think are important with your team. Realize that, as part of your continuing education, it is imperative that you bring them up to speed as well.
Measurement Variability of the TearLab Osmolarity System
The purpose of this study was to independently assess the measurement variability of TearLab System in a clinical setting of one visit and to estimate the minimum number of measurements required for reliable readings of tear osmolarity.
Ten consecutive osmolarity measurements were taken from both eyes by the same examiner at one visit for fourteen subjects. The ocular surface disease index symptoms questionnaire and tear film break up time were also performed. Group average cumulative mean and cumulative coefficient of variation were calculated to assess the TearLab measurement variation. Repeated application of Thompson's tau method was performed to identify the outliers in tear osmolarity readings for each eye. Results from both eyes were analyzed separately.
Up to two randomly occurring outlying values in 10 consecutive measurements were found in 19 out of 28 measured eyes. No statistically significant differences between the left and right eye were found for the group mean and group standard deviation (paired t-test, p=0.099 and p=0.068, respectively), however the cumulative coefficient of variation indicated higher measurement group variability on one eye. Estimated cumulative coefficient of variation indicated the minimum of three consecutive acquisitions required for the measurement to be reliable.
The author concluded that the TearLab Osmolarity System required at least three consecutive measurements to be taken in order to provide clinically reliable tear osmolarity readings. Also, taking the maximum osmolarity value for detecting dry eye disease should be viewed with caution since outlying readings of tear osmolarity frequently occur.