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Opchat Magazine Contact Lens PagesContact Lens News, April to June 2018

J & J continues to strengthen its position in the marketplace.
ABDO Contact Lens Uncorrected Cylinder Trial Gives Fresh Insights for Contact Lens Practitioners.
Dry Eye Certificate proves popular as 200 sign up
Nominations open ahead of BCLA Council election
Time to revisit contact lens clinical care?
BCLA new Contact Lens Hub provides many opportunities at Optrafair
Read the archived news on Contact Lenses in 1st Quarter 2018

J & J continues to strengthen its position in the marketplace.

April 2018

J & JJ&J has acquired Abbott Medical Optics, TearScience and Sightboxthis during the last few years and now the Food and Drug Administration approved Acuvue contact lenses that use technology from Transitions Optical and adjust based on brightness.

Vision care sales for J & J reached $1.12 billion last quarter, up from $798 million in the year-earlier period, an increase of 34 percent when subtracting currency. When excluding that and an acquisition, revenue grew 9 percent, according to J.P. Morgan.

The company has invested in vision as it refines its medical device group, adding surgical products and a contact subscription service to its lineup of Acuvue contact lenses.

The result is one of the fastest-growing platforms for J&J, particularly in medical devices, said Ashley McEvoy, company group chair of consumer medical devices.
"I would say it really starts with the space of sight, and sight matters, we like to say. It's one of the largest and fastest growing segments in health care, and we think there's still a lot of unmet need," McEvoy said.

J&J entered the eye surgery space in 2016 when it announced it would acquire Abbott Medical Optics. The $4.33 billion deal was completed in early 2017 and gave J&J products for cataract surgery and laser refractive surgery, as well as consumer eye health.

Later in the year, J&J bought TearScience, which makes devices to treat dry eye, and Sightbox, a contact lens membership-based subscription start-up, for undisclosed amounts.

"What the vision team is doing is really evolving the business model to better serve more patients, quite frankly, and create a much better customer experience behind some really modern and differentiated technology and ways to service patients," McEvoy said.

The demographics in the vision market are compelling, said Tom Frinzi, worldwide president of surgical at J&J Vision. Eye health represents an $80 billion market, the third largest behind cardiology and oncology, he said. An estimated 253 million people live with vision impairment.

People are living longer and more active lives. They are also undergoing cataract surgery at younger ages. By adding surgical products, J&J says it can now service patients young and old.

"If you just think of the broad-based portfolio, we have everything from prevention to correction and enhancement, all the way through to treatment, and there are not many companies that can bring that to bear on behalf of patients around the world," Frinzi said.

Despite its moves, J&J's vision business still contains gaps. It's not in the retina or glaucoma space, McEvoy said. The latter has seen innovation with minimally invasive surgery.

Glaucoma has typically been treated with eyedrops, an imperfect solution. New surgical options essentially drain fluid from patients' eyes to reduce pressure associated with the disease. J&J is looking at creating its own products in the space, as well as pursuing different strategic partners or acquisitions, McEvoy said.

The contact business still has room to grow, too. Last quarter, worldwide contact lens sales increased to $807 million from $683 million, or about 14 percent when stripping out currency. When also excluding an acquisition, revenue grew 11 percent, according to J.P. Morgan.

J&J sees opportunities to add new customers and upgrade existing customers to more expensive lenses.

Less than 10 percent of people around the world who could wear contacts do, J&J said. In the U.S., a developed market, that number increases to 28 percent. In emerging markets, such China and Russia, it decreases to 7 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

Glasses being in fashion, misconceptions about who can use contacts and a general fear of putting something in one's eye are stunting new customer growth in developed markets, said Aldo Denti, vice president of global franchise development for J&J's eye health business.

But more people are switching from monthly reusable contacts to daily disposal lenses. Meanwhile, more people are choosing specialty lenses meant for people with astigmatism.

Specialty contacts sales grew by double digits last year. They account for 30 to 35 percent of contact revenue, but that number should increase, J&J said.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved J&J's light adaptive contacts. They use technology from Transitions Optical.

Within five years, McEvoy expects J&J to offer contact lenses that contain medication.
Vision remains a hot growth platform that's still in it's early days.

"And we will take full advantage of not just what the medical device capabilities bring to us, but the consumer capabilities, the pharma capabilities, the surgical and market access capabilities," she said. "I think what you're seeing is a little bit of a learning lab of what J&J looks like on our best day."

ABDO Contact Lens Uncorrected Cylinder Trial Gives Fresh Insights for Contact Lens Practitioners.

April 2018

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians revealed results of a new clinical trial at Optrafair in Birmingham on Saturday 14th April.

When assessing a patient with low cylinder corrections, should you select a best sphere or a toric lens initially? The ABDO Contact Lens Uncorrected Cylinder Trial offers an insight into the positive and negative outcomes of the selection process and therefore enable the practitioner to make a more rational decision. It also points to areas where progress can be made to enable a
Daily Disposable Toric Soft Contact Lens to become the lens of first choice.

Lead Researcher Andrew Price FBDO(Hons)CL, COA says, “Results of the trial indicate that toric daily disposable soft contact lenses (SCLs) SCLs give better objective and subjective vision for distance. However for intermediate and near vision the overall conclusions were less clear cut. It is interesting to hypothesise that the toric cyl axis may, in some cases, be influenced by the eyes convergence and inferior gaze and hence vision adversely affected.”

Objective distance and near VAs improved at follow-up at two to three hours compared with dispensing at 20 minutes for the toric SCLs, whereas for the spherical SCL it hardly changed at all. In the same time period, the rotation ‘away from intended’ reduced dramatically in some subjects. This indicates that toric SCL assessments would be more accurately assessed at a longer time period than has been historically the case. If initial assessments are carried out at 20 minutes then it should be expected that more patients will be found not suitable than if assessed later.

Although toric lenses scored better (DVA) or at least equal (IVA & NVA) than spherical prescriptions, when it came to comfort, this result was reversed. Manufacturers should pay attention to improving comfort of toric lens design.

Dry Eye Certificate proves popular as 200 sign up

April 2018

More than 200 eye care practitioners have signed up to work towards a certificate in Dry Eye as part of a new education programme run by the British Contact Lens Association.

The new CET-accredited programme focusses on clinical skills for Ocular Surface Health (OSH) and Dry Eye, allowing BCLA members to gain CET points while working towards a Dry Eye certificate or a higher level to lead to a BCLA Fellowship.

BCLA leaders have already enrolled 200 members who will work through an education resource to allow clinicians access to new specialised avenues supported by training and peer assessment.

The free programme is in response to what is seen as the ‘changing face of the profession’, taking into account research such as the Forsight report and highlighting a need to increase the scope of optometry and contact lens practice.

Keith Tempany, BCLA President, said: “We are always keen to help our members improve their clinical expertise which in turn enhances the patient experience; this programme in managing the Dry Eye and managing Ocular Surface Health does just that.

“OSH is well documented as fundamental in the success of the contact lens wearer; managing this for the patient, may help the retention of contact lens patients in practice and minimise drop outs due to discomfort.”

A BCLA Dry Eye Certificate will be issued on successful completion of the course, which is only available for BCLA members. The certificate, sponsored by associate partners Thea Pharmaceuticals, can be achieved by any optometrist or CLO who attains six credits and a final OSCE style examination.

The six credits are available from five online modules and one relevant Dry Eye or OSH workshop, peer review or lecture (GOC approved validated with CE number). This certificate will need to be renewed every four years.

Professor Christine Purslow, head of Medical Affairs at Thea Pharmaceuticals, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the BCLA for this course. Dry eye education is essential, and this qualification ensures practitioners will be best placed to offer the specialist service needed to diagnose and manage the disease.”

The issue of Dry Eye will play an integral role in education sessions at forthcoming BCLA UK events in London and Birmingham, including a peer review and a programme of workshops.

The peer review will provide an overview level of understanding on the management and diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease that supports eye care practitioners to raise their levels of confidence and skill to complete the BCLA’s Dry Eye Practical Accreditation Examination.

The event will include interactive workshops, based on the evidence and findings of the TFOS DEWS II report, to familiarise delegates with clinical instruments specific to Dry Eye disease diagnosis and management.

Nominations open ahead of BCLA Council election

April 2018

The British Contact Lens Association is looking for “committed” and “passionate” members to put themselves forward to represent their peers and shape the future of the organisation.

Nominations are now open for the BCLA Council elections – giving eye care practitioners and industry representatives the opportunity to take a seat at the top table and influence decision-making in all matters concerning contact lenses and anterior eye.

BCLA chief executive Cheryl Donnelly said: “BCLA Council members represent the association’s members from a multi-disciplinary profession and industry, covering all aspects relating to contact lenses and anterior eye.

“You would be joining council at a very interesting time and will play an integral part in deciding and delivering the strategic direction of the BCLA, whilst representing members wishes and help to ensure that all members’ views across the association, profession and industry are represented in all activities.

“BCLA Council members will find the experience rewarding with an opportunity to network, develop new skills and to help bring about positive changes to the future of the world of contact lenses and anterior eye.”

BCLA leaders will welcome nominations from optometrists, including those newly qualified, contact lens opticians and ophthalmologists plus all those from technical and commercial areas of the industry.
Only full members of the BCLA based in the UK are eligible to apply and be nominated for election.

The closing date for receipt of completed nominations is midnight on Friday, 4 May and nominations can be made online at If you have any questions or require additional information, please email here

Time to revisit contact lens clinical care?

April 2018

The ‘conservative’ approach to contact lens aftercare will be challenged at BCLA UK as part of a drive to minimise drop-outs and maximise patient success.

As part of the two-day event – which is being held across two cities for the first time this year – Professor Philip Morgan from the University of Manchester will examine the ways in which patients are cared for immediately after being fitted with contact lenses.
The session will look at how much the industry has evolved in recent years but how the aftercare offered is much the same as it was decades previously – suggesting it’s time for an overhaul of the way eye care practitioners structure their service.
Professor Morgan said: “The evolution of the contact lens world over the past three decades has been remarkable, with dramatic improvements in material biocompatibility, better lens designs, simplified lens care systems and flexible and convenient modalities of wear.

“However, our approach to the aftercare examination remains conservative, with our general mode of practice rooted in the early, difficult years of contact lens fitting. Perhaps it is time to rethink our approach to contact lens aftercare.

“Current evidence in relation to key aspects of contact lens aftercare, such as refractive status, vision, comfort, complications, patient education and compliance will be examined.

“A revised and flexible approach to contact lens aftercare scheduling will be considered from a clinical perspective; further to this, we will explore the importance of keeping in contact with our lens wearers in the early weeks after contact lens fitting to minimise drop-outs and maximise patient success.”

BCLA UK will be split over two cities for the first time this year, with the first session being held on Monday, 4 June at Conference Aston in Birmingham and the second scheduled for Sunday, 10 June at IET Savoy in London.

BCLA new Contact Lens Hub provides many opportunities at Optrafair

April 2018

The brand-new BCLA contact Lens Hub at Optrafair will provide delegates with a one-stop shop for all queries about how they can get the most out of contact lenses and the management of ocular surface health.

Co-hosted by the British Contact Lens Association, there will be an impressive range of informative sessions throughout the three-day event, providing an invaluable opportunity for topping up CET points. The hub is free to attend and provides a perfect opportunity to gain expert advice on subjects including astigmatism, presbyopia, fitting of irregular corneas and dry eye disease.

Experts from the BCLA will be on hand across all three days to answer any questions delegates may have on Contact Lens management.

Sessions include:

• Multifocal Contact Lens Fitting Made Easy

Melissa McErlane & Dr. Rachel Hiscox, 3 CET points

• Not a dry eye in the house
Professor Christine Purslow, 3 CET points

• Don’t make mountains out of Mole Hills (Specialist CL fitting)
Josie Barlow, 3 CET points

• Presbyopia and Contact Lenses
Jonathon Bench, 3 CET points

• Astigmatism and Contact Lenses
Guraj Jabbal, 3 CET points

View full programme here

"The dedicated Contact Lens Hub provides us with an opportunity to assemble a team of the very best speakers from across the industry and help delegates be more confident with contact lenses, getting them up to date with the very latest research and best practice.” - BCLA president Keith Tempa

The BCLA Contact Lens Hub sessions are now available for booking - REGISTER NOW!


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