CONTACT LENSES TODAY

April 6, 2003

Contact Lenses Today® is edited by Dr. Joseph T. Barr and the staff of Contact Lens Spectrum. This week CLToday® reaches 10,180 readers in 74 countries.


Laser Companies Banned From Making Certain LASIK Claims
Under the terms of proposed orders from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), LCA Vision, Inc., and The Laser Vision Institute, LLC, along with its principals Marco Musa, Max Musa and Marc'Andrea Musa (collectively LVI), will be barred from making future claims about LASIK eliminating the need for glasses or contacts for life or the need for reading glasses and bifocals until they can substantiate these claims. To find out what complaints the FTC made against LCA and LVI, visit http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/03/lasikads.htm. The FTC has prepared a free document, available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/health/lasik.htm, to educated consumers who are interested in the LASIK procedure.
Glitter Eyes Recalled
CIBA Vision is conducting a voluntary recall of all Glitter Eyes contact lenses. Layers of the lens can partially delaminate, causing the pigments encapsulated within the lens to smear or smudge. According to the company, it hasn't received any reports of adverse events with the lenses and the likelihood of such event is low. The company is closely examining the Glitter Eyes development and manufacturing process to address the issue. CIBA Vision is providing specific instructions regarding the return of Glitter Eyes lenses to eyecare practitioners and distributors who have received the lenses.
Alcon's Opti-Free Express MPDS No Rub Lasting Comfort Formula PHMB-free multipurpose disinfecting solution that is safe for use with all soft lenses, including silicone hydrogels. Opti-Free Express is the number-one selling No Rub solution.** It contains Tetronic 1304,* a special wetting agent that attracts moisture to the surface of the lens, then helps keep it there. So lenses feel fresh and comfortable -- even at the end of the day.
* Tetronic is a registered trademark of BASF.
** Based on AC Nielsen Retail Tracking (Food, Drug, Mass excluding Wal-Mart, 52 weeks ending 3/15/03).
--ADVERTISING


Two CL Journals Merge
The British Contact Lens Association's journal, Contact Lens & Anterior Eye (CLAE) will now incorporate International Contact Lens Clinic (ICLC). According to publisher Elsevier Science, the merger brings both extra content and new readers, mainly from the United States. The first CLAE issue to contain ICLC content will appear in June 2003.
Acuvue 2 and Neutrogena Aim to Boost In-Office CL Sales
Acuvue 2 Brand Contact Lenses and Neutrogena are teaming up. You can offer the gift-with-purchase promotion, which launched in February 2003, to teen patients who are considering switching to contact lenses. After purchasing four boxes of Acuvue 2 or Acuvue 2 Colours lenses based on information from an eye exam within the last 90 days, female patients will receive three popular beauty items and male patients will receive Neutrogena soothing shaving products.
New Fluoroquinolones Approved
Allergan, Inc. just announced that the FDA has approved its fourth-generation fluoroquinolone, Zymar (gatifloxacin ophthalmic solution 0.3%) for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis caused by susceptible strains of bacteria.

Also, the FDA just approved the brand name Vigamox for Alcon's new fourth-generation fluoroquinolone moxifloxacin. The company expects final clearance for the product itself in the near future.
Editor's Commentary: Mail and Internet Contact Lens Chaos
I applaud Dr. Milburn's enthusiasm and concern (see 'Letter to the Editor' below) regarding the FDA and illegitimate sales of contact lenses. I certainly don't want to discourage anything that would bring order to this situation. But until more serious injuries from illegally acquired lenses are reported to the FDA and in the literature, I doubt the FDA, FTC or attorneys general will do anything.
Fitting Tip: Adapting to a New Silicone Hydrogel Lens
A silicone hydrogel contact lens isn't always as comfortable as a patient's old lenses. Therefore you shouldn't schedule the next follow-up visit until the patient's lids have adapted to the new lens. In some cases, it's necessary to start with six to eight hours and work up to full-time wear as was done with old hard lenses. Corneal edema takes time to resolve. Make sure that the patient knows why we're doing this and that his corneas will thank him for his effort! A follow up in three to four weeks allows both the comfort question and most of the edema question to resolve. Some edema cases won't resolve until after eight weeks.
--John C. Heiby, O.D.
St. Clairsville, Ohio

Letter To The Editor: Call to Join Forces
Dear Editor,
The optometric community rallied last fall in response to the FDA's plans to deregulate "non corrective, decorative contact lenses." Our profession, with the help of the national news media, made a successful appeal to the FDA and halted its plans to make colored contact lenses an over-the-counter device.

Last fall, I was amazed by this lobbying campaign and was left to wonder why our profession is unable to come together and make a similar effort to have the laws enforced regarding the illegal sale of all contact lenses. I was reassured to learn that apathy isn't a plague affecting our profession. If we so choose, we can mobilize optometry to encourage the FDA to protect the public from all illegal sales of contact lenses.

It's interesting that once the FDA was convinced of the need for continued regulation of colored lenses, it issued a series of warnings and statements regarding the risks of colored contact lenses. Ironically, these warnings should apply to all contact lenses and not just decorative lenses. Also last fall, the FDA failed to reaffirm the dangers of all contact lenses. We need to show the FDA that the optometric community is frustrated with its failure to act to protect our patients. Specifically, the FDA has jurisdiction when the sale of contact lenses involves interstate commerce.

If you'd like to sign a petition reflecting this opinion, visit http://www.seniordoc.org to read and respond to the letter being circulated nationwide to all state associations and distributed by e-mail to as many optometrists as possible.
--Tim Milburn, O.D.
Via e-mail

Send your favorite tips to tips@cltoday.com -- if your tip is selected as 'Best of the Month,' you'll receive a free golf shirt (see http://www.CLToday.com for details). Please include your full name, degree or title and city/state/country.
Visit Contact Lens Spectrum ( http://www.clspectrum.com ) for interactive clinical posters, issue archives and discussion forums. Visit Contact Lenses Today for our Best Fitting Tips and Photo Clinic, sponsored by Ocular Sciences.
CLToday Services: Subscribe; Change your e-mail address; submit news to news@cltoday.com; or, fax 1-215-643-3902.
Contact Lenses Today and CLToday are registered trademarks of Boucher Communications, Inc. ©2003 Boucher Communications, Inc.