The State of the Union: Contact Lenses

AOC invited the top four contact lens companies to share their State of the Union addresses.

By Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care

Alcon

An Obsession With Science

by Carla Mack, OD, MBA, FAAO

At Alcon, we are celebrating 70 years of scientific innovations that have expanded and enriched our differentiated product portfolio and helped more patients see, look, and feel their best. We feel strongly that innovation goes beyond just product development and extends to the programs and educational efforts that directly affect the quality of life of your patients. To that end, we have forged dozens of partnerships with patients, practitioners, students, and organizations so that together we may inform and inspire proactive eye care. We are proud of the role we play in patient-practitioner relationships, and we thank you for your support and partnership over the years.

ONE DAY. ONE MONTH. ONE PROMISE.

Because no two patients are alike, we are driven by an obsession with science to develop differentiated contact lenses and lens care products across unique technological platforms in order to meet patient needs, improve patient outcomes, and help enhance patients’ quality of life. In 2008, Alcon made a commitment, known as the Power of One, to focus its contact lens portfolio on unique materials in one-day and one-month lens replacement schedules that help promote patient compliance, more frequent patient care, and practice growth.1,2

See product instructions for complete wear, care and safety information, Rx only: www.airoptix.com/safety-information.shtml.

Daily disposable lens wear is a healthy and convenient option, and we believe that there is tremendous untapped potential for helping more patients experience the benefits of this modality. We recently launched Dailies Total1 Multifocal contact lenses. These are the first and only contact lenses that combine water gradient technology with Alcon’s Precision Profile Design. This year, we also expanded the power ranges of our Dailies contact lenses to the widest range of parameters readily available in office. In addition, we have invested in our most aggressive direct-to-consumer campaigns in our history, all to help drive patients to your practice.

Patient access to the benefits of daily disposable lenses is not only about new products and parameter availability, but also about overcoming the barrier of cost or perceived cost. Therefore, we developed the Alcon Dailies Choice Program (www.dailieschoice.com), which can significantly help patients who want daily disposable contact lenses by providing a high-value rebate to those who qualify.

Many patients are still ideal candidates for monthly replacement contact lens wear, and we are pleased to announce our latest innovation: Air Optix plus HydraGlyde contact lenses. Our comprehensive portfolio of Air Optix contact lenses offers patients many options, including color contact lens wear, overnight wear, and toric and multifocal correction.

Because contact lens care plays such a vital role in successful contact lens wear, we offer Clear Care Plus Cleaning and Disinfecting Solution, which integrates HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix Technology. The solution was awarded “Product of the Year” in the eye care category of the 2016 Consumer Survey of Product Innovation.3 Using Clear Care Plus, patients can get the best of both worlds in terms of exceptional disinfection and long-lasting moisture.

UNIQUE PARTNERSHIPS

Our partnerships reflect our commitment to inform and inspire proactive eye care, and we value our relationships with the many organizations that share our beliefs in research, public awareness, and philanthropy. In 2017, we look forward to continuing our collaborations with eye care providers, so that we can keep raising the bar on the definition of comprehensive eye care and what it means for patients to see, look, and feel their best.

 

1. Guthrie S, Dumbleton K, Jones L. Financial implications of patient compliance. Contact Lens Spectrum. December 1, 2014.

2. Dumbleton K, Richter D, Bergenske P, Jones LW. Compliance with lens replacement and the interval between eye examinations. Optom Vis Sci. 2013;90:351-358.

3. 2016 Product of the Year Winners. http://productoftheyearusa.com/winners-2016. Accessed December 14, 2016.

Carla Mack, OD, MBA, FAAO
• Director, Professional & Clinical Support, Alcon
carla.mack@alcon.com


Bausch + Lomb

Delivering Innovation While Giving Back

During the past year, Bausch + Lomb has continued to support the advancement of contact lens technology by adding to our portfolio of innovative products. In addition to our commitment to product development, Bausch + Lomb has also focused on initiatives that invest in optometry’s future and give back to those in need. Specifically, we have focused on the training and education of eye care professionals (ECPs) through our B+Lieve meeting series, our charitable contribution efforts, and the introduction of a new campaign that invites ECPs and their patients to commit to a greener future.

CONTINUED PRODUCT INNOVATION

In 2016, we expanded our contact lens portfolio with the introduction of Bausch + Lomb Ultra for Presbyopia. With the onset of symptoms of presbyopia beginning at about age 40 and life expectancy reaching a record high of 79 years, many adults will spend nearly half their lives presbyopic. ECPs now have the ability to prescribe a multifocal contact lens that combines our two proprietary technologies, MoistureSeal technology and 3-Zone Progressive design, for exceptional comfort and outstanding vision at near, intermediate, and distance. The multifocal lens design also provides ECPs the convenience of easy and predictable fitting. In the coming months, we will add to our family of products further with the introduction of toric lenses for Biotrue ONEday and Bausch + Lomb Ultra contact lenses. These additions will help to further address the unmet needs of ECPs and their patients.

PRESERVING THE ENVIRONMENT

In addition to our efforts to develop new materials and bring innovative technologies to market, Bausch + Lomb also works daily to become a more environmentally sustainable company. We have employees around the globe dedicated to Bausch + Lomb’s sustainable business practices, and today even our contact lenses are playing a role. Through our One by One recycling program, we are encouraging ECPs and patients to recycle used Biotrue ONEday contact lenses, as well as other contact lenses and blister packs, in a nationwide effort to help preserve the environment by taking one action at a time to one day achieve a greener future. This unique and free program, which officially kicked off on America Recycles Day, was developed in partnership with TerraCycle, a world leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle postconsumer waste. The program is now available to ECPs and their patients.

GIVING BACK

Each year, we support research and engage in charitable giving with our customers and industry partners through numerous eye health programs and initiatives. We are also committed to helping organizations such as Optometry Giving Sight, which offers eye health services and resources particularly for underserved communities that lack the appropriate resources to support them. Additionally, patients who wear our lenses now have the opportunity to join us in giving back and helping to improve the quality of vision of individuals in underserved communities through our enhanced rebate program. At the rebate website, patients can donate a portion of their rebate to directly support Optometry Giving Sight.

We have also supported the Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity of Pennsylvania, or VOSH-PA. This year, Bausch + Lomb employees joined VOSH-PA, volunteer optometrists, and an ophthalmologist as part of an eye care medical outreach trip to Haiti to perform more than 40 sight-saving surgeries and examine close to 2,000 patients this year.

HELPING ECPS B+LIEVE

We are proud to provide ECPs with a number of programs and tools that can help them introduce and share our innovations within their practices while also reinforcing the positive things they are doing for their patients. These efforts include our Innovation in Practice, Making Success a Habit initiative, designed to give ECPs the tools to recognize what they do well and provide them with resources and opportunities to build from the practices of their peers. We will continue the company’s B+Lieve meeting series, a platform of education and training for ECPs to understand Bausch + Lomb’s innovations in material and lens design, and how these can be implemented in practice to help their patients.

These programs, in addition to our continued collaborations with ECPs, allow us to identify new opportunities that we can build upon throughout our product portfolio and service offerings.

We look forward to the upcoming year as we continue to collaborate with ECPs to elevate patient care and provide an exceptional portfolio of vision care products.

Bausch + Lomb
www.bausch.com


CooperVision

Stay True to the Mission

by Jerry Warner

The business of optometry is changing, but the mission of ECPs remains the same. Likewise, CooperVision stands by this simple yet profound mission: to improve the way people see each day.

To achieve our shared mission, we are all adapting to changes in patient behavior and what that means for our industry. Patients are also consumers who are technologically savvy and socially assertive. They have options and they know it; they demand and expect more out of all of their shopping experiences. Practices are adapting to navigate these changes in the market, and CooperVision is confronting these same challenges. What do they mean for ECPs’ practices? For our business? For the patients we both serve?

Although many things may have changed, some, like CooperVision’s commitment to ECPs and their patients, have not. We serve all prescribers of soft contact lenses, regardless of where they practice. We offer lenses for virtually every eye with an unrivaled range of contact lenses, allowing ECPs to fit more patients than ever before. And we do not stop there.

NONSTOP INNOVATION

CooperVision continually innovates across all modalities and price points. Within the past 2 years, we have introduced five new contact lenses:

• Biofinity Energys with Digital Zone Optics lens design, a breakthrough contact lens specifically designed for digital life and everyday living;

• Biofinity XR toric, the much-anticipated addition to the Biofinity XR brand, the only silicone hydrogel contact lens range from a major manufacturer designed for patients with prescriptions beyond the traditional stock range;

• MyDay, CooperVision’s softest ever 1-day silicone hydrogel lens;

• clariti 1 day, the world’s first and only family of silicone hydrogel 1-day contact lenses available in sphere, toric, and multifocal prescriptions; and

• Avaira Vitality, a superior version of our popular Avaira 2-week contact lenses, providing better overall comfort for wearers.

PRACTICE-BUILDING TOOLS

To remain competitive, we know that eye care practices must be able to do more than prescribe the right contact lenses. That is why CooperVision partners with prescribers by providing a comprehensive set of tools to help practices grow their businesses, especially as the industry evolves. CooperVision Advantage—which includes the EyeCare Prime and LensFerry programs—offers practice-building services to help with patient retention and acquisition, supply costs, and keeping contact lens sales within your practice.

ADVANCING AND PROTECTING ECPs

CooperVision recognizes that being an ECP is more challenging than ever, but we also hear every day from practices that are overcoming these challenges in new ways. That is why, in 2015, we launched our Best Practices initiative, which seeks to discover and honor those who are thriving through innovation, providing superior patient experiences, and becoming involved in their communities. Best Practices shares honorees’ insights and stories to help all ECPs adapt to the changing industry landscape. The program is now in its second year, and we are preparing to announce the second class of honorees. We look forward to working with them to highlight their creativity and share their strategies for success.

It is also important to us at CooperVision that the company acts as a leader in the industry, advancing the state of healthier contact lens wearing experiences and advocating for the profession. Throughout the past year, we have acted independently and through the Coalition for Patient Vision Care Safety to proactively lobby on policy changes that affect optometry. This has included our support of the Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act of 2016, engagement with the Federal Trade Commission’s 10-year review of the Contact Lens Rule to close loopholes that can benefit unscrupulous online resellers at the expense of responsible patient care, and activity on state legislative issues.

At the end of the day, we succeed together. CooperVision’s future has been and always will be interwoven with the futures of ECPs. We know that practices will continue to thrive, and we will continue to help.

Jerry Warner
• President, The Americas, CooperVision
http://coopervision.com


Johnson & Johnson Vision Care

Shaping the Future of Vision Care Together

by Peter Menziuso

Never before have ECPs and patients had more choices when it comes to vision correction, and the future of innovation in vision care shows no signs of slowing. It is an exciting time for our industry, for ECPs, and for patients too!

At Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, we are driven by a deep knowledge of the eye’s anatomy and physiology to research and develop innovative technologies inspired by the eye to address specific patient needs. We call our approach Eye-Inspired Design, and it is the basis of our portfolio of Acuvue Brand Contact Lenses, as well as future technologies we are working on now.

In the past 2 years, we have introduced three new contact lens products, each addressing different unmet patient needs and different lifestyles, and our innovation engine will continue to deliver.

BEYOND CONTACT LENSES

Beyond innovating in product technology, we are also committed to partnering with organizations that share our vision of helping people see better, connect better, and live better. As a supporter of the public awareness campaign Think About Your Eyes (thinkaboutyoureyes.com), we are proud to be part of a program that highlights the importance of regular, comprehensive eye exams, driving hundreds of thousands of patients in to seek eye exams who may otherwise not have visited an ECP.

In 2016, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care also introduced a helpful resource for ECPs who are interested in supporting patient retention and practice growth through the use of digital platforms. The Acuvue Brand Digital Guide is a tool that provides easy-to-follow guidance for ECPs, whether they are completely new to the digital space or looking to optimize their website or social media presence.

Furthering the education of future ECPs and supporting those making important scientific discoveries today are critical efforts for shaping the future of vision care, and we have provided backing for current and future practitioners through more than $1 million in support to the American Optometric Foundation.

MORE THAN VISION CORRECTION

In addition to expanding our portfolio of Acuvue Brand Contact Lenses for patients with a variety of vision correction needs and lifestyles, we are also focused on transformational technologies that go beyond traditional vision correction and address broader elements of eye health. Innovating to address unmet patient needs is at the center of our research and development efforts, and we anticipate bringing exciting new technologies to the marketplace in the next several years.

Our team is working on technologies that will enable delivery of medications to the eye through a contact lens, offer adaptive technology for changing internal and external environments, provide completely customized correction and fit, and utilize smart device technology for presbyopic patients.

THE FUTURE OF OUR INDUSTRY

For patients in need of vision correction, contact lenses can be life-changing. As medical devices, contact lenses are not without risk, but we know that with proper wear and care habits, including regular, comprehensive eye exams from an ECP, many patients have great success with contact lenses.

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care leads the industry in advocacy efforts designed to ensure the health and safety of patients through maintaining professional oversight in the prescribing of contact lenses and upholding regulatory standards for those prescriptions. We will continue to vigorously support regulations and legislative efforts that align with these goals, while also ensuring healthy choice and competition in the marketplace. To learn more about our advocacy efforts and to share your voice with your lawmakers, visit www.jnjvisioncareinfo.com.

Thank you for your partnership and for sharing your professional insights about patient care needs with our teams. We use these insights to develop clinically differentiated product technologies and tailored support for patients and professionals. Together, we are shaping the future of vision care.

Peter Menziuso
• President, North America, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care
www.jnjvc.com