September 23, 2007

Contact Lenses Today® is edited by Dr. Carla Mack and the staff of Contact Lens Spectrum. This week CLToday® reaches more than 12,000 readers in 74 countries.

B&L Shareholders Approve Warburg Pincus Merger
Bausch & Lomb announced that its shareholders voted to approve the proposed merger with Warburg Pincus LLC (see CLToday, May 16) at a special meeting of shareholders held on Friday, September 21. The tabulation indicated that more than two-thirds of shareholders entitled to a vote at the meeting voted in favor of the transaction, which is expected to close early in the third quarter.

FTC Issues Warning Letters to 10 Prescribers
According to a release issued by the AOA, on August 15, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent warning letters to 10 prescribers for allegedly failing to release prescription information to patients, imposing additional fees before doing so or requiring patients to purchase contact lenses from them. The letters were sent in response to consumer complaints filed with the FTC.
    The Contact Lens Rule of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA) requires prescribers to release prescription information even if patients don’t request it and to verify the patient’s prescription to his designated seller. In very limited cases, prescribers may require a patient to pay for the eye exam, fitting and evaluation before dispensing a copy of the prescription. However, this is only allowable if the prescriber requires immediate payment from all patients, including those who have no need for visual correction. Proof of valid insurance coverage counts for the purposes of this requirement.
    Kevin Alexander, O.D., Ph.D., AOA president said, “The AOA certainly supports the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act and encourages its members to serve patients under the guidelines of this law.”

FDA Grants Pre-Market Approval of Retasure
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted pre-market approval to Digital Healthcare Inc. for its Retasure retinal risk assessment system and iP technology platform. The device allows primary care physicians to capture digital images of diabetic patients’ retinas without the need for dilation. It then transmits the images to a board-certified ophthalmologist at an accredited reading center. Results are then sent back to the practitioner within 72 hours, according to the manufacturer.

Increased Comfort Delivers Lasting Patient Satisfaction
Nothing drives referrals like satisfied patients. And nothing satisfies patients like the comfort and minimal corneal staining that can be provided by ACUVUE® OASYS™ Brand Contact Lenses with HYDRACLEAR™ Plus. In a recent clinical study, new wearers exhibited no significant difference in corneal staining and reported no significant difference in overall comfort between ACUVUE® OASYS™ and no lens. And in an in-market trial, 89% of patients fit with ACUVUE® OASYS™ would recommend their doctors based on their experience. How will you satisfy your patients and build your practice with ACUVUE® OASYS™?
Important Safety Information


TVCI Helps Olympic Athletes Achieve Better Vision
Johnson & Johnson’s Vision Care Institute is donating several pieces of vision care equipment to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to help athletes optimize their vision. According to a recent survey of nearly 600 U.S Olympic and paralympic hopeful athletes and alumni, 61% said they believe its’ extremely important that their vision be the best it can be for them to succeed. Further, 37% reported it has been two or more years since their last eye examination and 20% said it had been three years or more. The survey was conducted by the USOC on behalf of J&J. Among other findings: 52% of athletes surveyed said they wear contact lenses while practicing and/or competing in their sport; 34% wear glasses and 12% wear goggles or sport goggles.

Allergan to Acquire Esprit Pharma
Allergan Inc. and Esprit Pharma Holding Company Inc. announced they have entered into an agreement pursuant to which Allergan will acquire the company for approximately $370 million. Esprit is a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company with expertise in the genitourinary market.

Global Keratoconus Congress 2008
Contact Lens Spectrum and the LWW Health Care Conference Group will host the second Global Keratoconus Congress (GKC), January 25-27, 2008, at Bally's Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. As with the 2007 meeting, the 2008 congress will include information for vision care professionals in all disciplines, with both surgical and non-surgical treatment options. GKC 2008 will also feature 15 new speakers providing hands-on workshops, strategies for irregular astigmatism and expert insights into fitting after surgery and corneal trauma. More than 500 participants attended the 2007 meeting, which was accredited for continuing education under COPE, NCLE and JCAHPO and offered 17.5 credit hours. Those interested in attending the 2008 Global Keratoconus Congress can visit for more information or to register for this unique meeting. Companies interested in exhibiting should contact Heather Seasholtz at 215-643-8073.

Give Sight, Give Hope
Join the World Sight Day Challenge on October 11, 2007. Optometry Giving Sight hopes practitioners will help give sight to the millions in need by: donating exam fees on World Sight Day, signing up for a regular monthly donation of $25, $50 or $100, and asking patients to add $5 to their invoices in October. Visit


Abstract: Recalcitrant Beauveria Bassiana Keratitis
Researchers at the University of Chicago’s Department of Ophthalmology recently reported the clinical, confocal microscopic and histologic appearance of a case of Beauveria bassiana keratitis. A 58-year-old woman with a one-month history of a recalcitrant contact lens-related corneal ulcer presented. The authors conducted confocal microscopy evaluation and corneal scrapings for histology and culture, which revealed a filamentous fungal keratitis confirmed by culture as B. bassiana resistant to amphotericin B. They found the keratitis was unresponsive to multiple topical and systemic antifungals but resolved after the addition or oral posaconazole.
    The investigators conclude that B. bassiana is a rare cause of keratitis that may show significant resistance to topical and systemic antifungals, but was treated successfully with the addition of oral posaconazole to topical voriconazole. They note that confocal microscopy and corneal smears may be beneficial in identifying, and directing therapy for, this slow-growing fungus.
Tu EY, Park AL. Recalcitrant Beauveria bassiana keratitis: confocal microscopy findings and treatment with posaconazole (Noxafil). Cornea. 2007 Sep;26(8):1008-10.

Editor's Commentary: Contact Lens Innovation
In last week’s commentary (see CLToday, September 16), I mentioned research and innovation in the contact lens industry. I'm interested in what you want as a clinician that would improve the lives of your patients. I hear clinicians say they need a steeper or flatter base curve or an expanded parameter range. Think bigger. Tell me what would drive patients to your practice? What do patients desire that is not available? What do you desire in a GP, soft lens or solution that is not available? Will you use, and do you want, custom, wavefront-correcting contact lenses? Would you like more toric or multifocal daily-disposable lens options. Silicone hydrogel daily-disposables? Should the industry think differently with regards to contact lens packaging or replacement schedules? What is the perfect solution or the perfect lens? Send us your thoughts at
Carla Mack, O.D., F.A.A.O.

Reader's Commentary: Capping Solution
In teaching patients proper lens-care and stressing compliance, we took great care to detail all the steps of care necessary, but never made mention of capping the solution bottle when finished. I guess we just assumed it would obviously be done.
    Since last year’s fungal episodes, we have tried to specifically ask patients whether they cap their bottles. Surprisingly, many have reported that capping and uncapping the bottle is either tiresome or difficult, so they leave it continually uncapped. This has been true of all ages and patient types, including optometry interns — and even optometry faculty! Therefore, be sure to specifically stress the importance and rationale behind capping the solution bottle after each use. Hopefully, this will lessen their risk of complications from contact lens wear.
Neil A. Pence, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Bloomington, Ind.

This month at explore the significance of the recent “no-rub” solution recalls, learn about atypical upper lid margin staining in dry-eyed silicone hydrogel wearers and review the latest in silicone hydrogel research present at ARVO 2007.

Report adverse contact lens reactions here: or call (800) FDA-1088.

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