NEW ORLEANS – “We’re excited to be independent so we can focus on eye care,” Eric Bruno, Alcon’s general manager of U.S. Vision Care, said here at a company-sponsored press conference during SECO.
Bruno is referring to the planned spinoff from Novartis that was first announced in June 2018. He said shareholders will most likely approve the spinoff this month, and it should clear regulatory and closing in the first half of 2019.
This independence, “empowers us to further shape and lead the global eye care devices market, provides more flexibility to pursue our own growth strategy and allows us to align business with the needs of a nimble medical device company,” Bruno said. “We’re excited about the focus it’s going to give us moving forward.”
Bruno outlined the “Alcon pyramid,” which, “drives every single thing we do.”
The four P’s are: passion, portfolio, partnerships and people.
“Our passion is to help people see, look and feel their best,” Bruno said. “We’re a company that’s going to do what’s necessary to improve patient outcomes, and we’ll do it in a way that puts the doctor in a relationship with us.”
Bruno said some of the disruption in the marketplace could help Alcon help doctors provide more options to their patients through an ecommerce platform.
“It’s a disruption that does not get in the way of the doctor-patient relationship,” he said.
He noted that Alcon is spending $2 million suing Lens.com.
“Lens.com does not follow the rules in terms of buying authorized product, we can’t guarantee the quality, and they stand against the doctor,” Bruno said. He noted that Alcon sells no products to Lens.com.
Alcon’s goal with its portfolio is to introduce products that are differentiated and have the biggest impact on outcomes, Bruno said.
“Our partnership strategy is also very simple,” he said. “We believe in doing everything possible in addressing the unmet needs in the marketplace with our partners.”
Alcon’s doctor-partners need more patients to come into the office and, when they’re in the office, “they need to satisfy them and delight them,” Bruno said. “When they leave the office they make sure they have an enduring relationship with the patient so they come back more frequently.”
Lastly, “We’re investing in people,” he continued. “Our people are the foundation of everything we do.”
Bruno said much of the company’s bureaucracy and red tape has been removed to make it easier to accomplish things.
He listed Alcon’s five equal portfolio priorities as: getting more people into the daily disposable modality, promoting the Power of One movement (“If you’re not going to be in a daily disposable, wear a monthly.”), growing the presbyopic category, dry eye and colors. – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO
Disclosure: Bruno is employed by Alcon.