December 22, 2002

Contact Lenses Today® is edited by Dr. Joseph T. Barr and the staff of Contact Lens Spectrum. This week CLToday® reaches 9,177 readers in 74 countries.

1-800 Eat Your Heart Out
Wolf Bioscience has developed PatientWire, an online contact lens ordering system that goes through the doctor's office. There's no setup fee -- only a cost of about one dollar each day for the basic Web site and use of the system's e-mail tool for marketing. After that, Wolf Bioscience charges on a per-order basis, starting at approximately $2, and is volume dependent.

Staff members enter each patient's information into the system. The patient then logs on to the doctor's Web site, which is invisibly managed by Wolf Bioscience. The patient chooses a quantity of lenses to order (the doctor pre-enters in the patient's prescription, number of refills and expiration date.) Wolf Bioscience runs the patient's credit card for the clinician and collects the money, sending it and other payments back to the doctor electronically once a week. Once the patient places the order, the system routes it to whatever manufacturer or distributor the doctor chooses. Your staff doesn't have to fax or call in orders anymore, so you're saving time with this system. Visit for more information.

1-800 Contacts Is Growing
1-800 Contacts, Inc. has signed a letter of intent to acquire certain assets and assume certain liabilities of Lens Express and Lens1st. The completion of the acquisition is expected by January 31, 2003 and depends on satisfactory outcome of due dilligence.

Proclear Compatibles --  Get Comfortable All day comfort, all month long -- CooperVision's Proclear Compatibles lenses remain moist and comfortable, even after 12 hours of wear. A recently published study found that 92% of wearers preferred to continue wearing Proclear Compatibles when refit from their existing lens. Visit to see how Proclear Compatibles can allow your patients to get comfortable. --ADVERTISING

Dailies Toric Set for Phased U.S. Rollout
In a planned, phased rollout of Focus Dailies Toric lenses in the United States and Canada, the lens will initially be available to eyecare practitioners who most frequently fit the lenses. The rollout will continue through the end of the first quarter 2003 when nationwide availability is planned for both countries.

CIBA Releases New Shiny CL
CIBA Vision recently announced the U.S. launch of FreshLook Radiance lenses, which, according to the company, illuminate both light and dark eyes without changing their natural color. FreshLook Radiance uses a proprietary pearlescent effect and an inner starburst pattern that adds shine to the eye, says CIBA. The main iris area of the lens is clear to allow the natural eye color to show through and there is a charcoal outer ring pattern provides definition. Four different effects are available: Moonlight, Eden, Autumn and Sunrise.

Abstract: Compliance Isn't
Based on a survey of 125 practitioners and more than 1,000 patients, six percent of daily disposable, 54 percent of two-week and 45 percent of four- week replacement patients are noncompliant with replacement schedules. Forty percent of the daily wear patients admitted sleeping with lenses on. Compliance is best in daily disposable wearers and is poor for two- to four-week contact lens wearers leading to increased symptoms of dryness and poorer vision. Jones L, et al. Comfort and Compliance with Frequent Replacement Soft Contact Lenses. Optometry and Vision Science 79(12s): 259 (2002)

Editor's Commentary: The Current Chaos
There's been a lot of hubbub about Vistakon's pending agreement with 1-800 Contacts. Vistakon held a luncheon at the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) meeting to discuss their intentions. One doctor told me over the Internet that I needed to get into the real world based on last week's commentary. My final comment on this situation is this: It's too bad that Vistakon and a few states are the only ones that have tried to act like a sheriff to bring some order to this chaotic world of contact lens sales by unlicensed sellers to protect our contact lens patients.

Additionally, based on my observation of attendance at the AAO Section on Cornea and Contact Lenses sessions last week, contact lens research is alive and well. Happy Holidays!

Fitting Tip: Another Flipper Tip
The +/-0.25D and +/-0.50D flippers are a great tool for overrefracting or fine tuning a multifocal fit. However, sometimes you may need a -0.25D on one eye and a +0.25D on the other eye and you can't do this with the 0.25D pair. Do what I do: Double them up! I hold the -0.25D and put the +0.50 over it so that only one of these lenses lays over the -0.25D for the eye I want, which, now combined, results in +0.25D. It looks a bit funny to have three lenses in front of a patient, as the unused +0.50D part is extending either on the left or right side, but it works great for me -- at least for a quick check.
-- Helmer Schweizer, Head Professional and Marketing Services, CIBA Vision AG, Switzerland

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