Contact lens industry unites over legislation to protect patients
LAS VEGAS – Contact lens legislation is the single biggest challenge the optometric profession has had in the last 3 to 5 years and will have in the next 3 to 5 years, Scot Morris, OD, said here at Vision Expo West.
Morris moderated a panel of contact lens industry representatives during the Global Contact Lens Forum.
“You have to get involved,” panel member Guy Guglielmino, vice president of marketing for Bausch + Lomb, told attendees. “Take a stand and be passionate about it. Work with your state association and national association. As manufacturers we need to continue to support legislation, and we’re all doing that. As long as we continue to work as a team, we’ll continue to see advances for patient care.”
Robert Warner, global franchise head of vision care for Alcon, added: “Patients are best served when they have a strong relationship with their optometrist. That’s core to what we believe.
When we see legislation that furthers that, we support it.”
Peter Menziuso, president, North America, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc., agreed.
“We are absolutely advocating for that doctor-patient relationship. These are medical devices that need to have the supervision of the doctor. We will continue to support the Cassidy bill and other legislation to ensure that relationship remains.”
“We are unanimous about this,” Jerry Warner, president of North America, CooperVision, said. “We are clear that it starts and ends with the contact lens, certainly for patient safety, but also for the best experience possible. Anything that interferes with that, we’ll be zealots in defending it.”
“We will have to stand up and fight together or this part of our industry will change dramatically,” Morris said. “This is the single greatest threat to patient care and to our practice.”
“Get involved,” Menziuso urged attendees. “You have a lot of support at this table, but your involvement in shaping legislation will go a long way.” – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO
Morris S, et al. State of the Contact Lens Industry. Presented at: Vision Expo West; Sept. 14-17, 2016; Las Vegas.
Disclosures: Guglielmino is employed by Bausch + Lomb. Menziuso is employed by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Morris is a consultant, lecturer or conducts research for or has a financial interest in Alcon, Allergan, Bausch + Lomb and ComSquared Technologies. Jerry Warner is employed by CooperVision. Robert Warner is employed by Alcon.