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Essilor International Expands Footprint in Europe, Latin America

Local partnerships are a key component.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CHARENTON-LE-PONT, FRANCE – Essilor International, an EssilorLuxottica subsidiary, is pursuing its acquisition and partnership strategy with the completion of four transactions worldwide, representing combined full-year revenue of around €48 million ($54 million). Local partnerships are a key component of Essilor’s mission of “improving lives by improving sight.”

Essilor further strengthens its development strategy in Germany, the fifth-largest ophthalmic optics industry in the world. To speed up the development of a drive-to-store model that gives consumers access to the latest digital technologies combined with the expertise of independent opticians, Essilor signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Brille GmbH. The latter is one of the leading online retailers of optical products in Germany with annual revenue of close to €25 million. The acquisition of Brille is subject to approval of the German competition authority (Bundeskartellamt).

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The Company reinforces its presence in Greece, where Essilor partner Shamir acquired Union Optic, a prescription laboratory that also distributes optical instruments. Union Optic generates annual sales of about €9 million and operates four branches across Greece and Cyprus. Union Optics acquisition by Shamir will strengthen the footprint of the Essilor Group in the territory, where Bairamoglou and Unilens are long standing distributors of Essilor lens and Nikon lens, respectively.

Essilor also expands its coverage of Latin America to ensure broader access to its innovations in markets there. Essilor acquired a majority stake in Indulentes, one of the leading prescription laboratories in Ecuador with annual revenue of USD9 million. Indulentes will leverage Essilor’s technological know-how to accelerate its expansion in a local market that holds huge potential for progressive and antireflective lenses. This acquisition represents Essilor’s first move into Ecuador.

In Argentina, Essilor acquired a majority stake in Metalizado Optico Argentino S.A. (MOA), one of the country’s leading prescription laboratories. Buenos Aires-based MOA generates annual revenue of about $7 million. This laboratory adds to Essilor’s industrial assets in a country that is home to 45 million people and one of the Latin America’s largest ophthalmic optics market.

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Academy 2019 Orlando and 3rd World Congress of Optometry Education Program Announced

This joint meeting will bring global optometry together to offer a wide array of clinically relevant CE courses and cutting-edge research in the clinical and vision sciences.

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(PRESS RELEASE)ORLANDO and ST. LOUIS – The World Council of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry have partnered to present an impressive education program taking place at Academy 2019 Orlando and the 3rd World Congress of Optometry, October 23-27, 2019. This joint meeting will bring global optometry together to offer a wide array of clinically relevant CE courses and cutting-edge research in the clinical and vision sciences. Attendees from around the globe can choose from over 450 hours of lectures and workshops, Section and Special Interest Group (SIG) symposia, hundreds of scientific papers and posters, an expansive exhibit hall, and several memorable social events featuring international optometry.

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This year’s Plenary Session from 10 AM – 12 Noon on Wednesday, October 23 is titled, “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Practice: WHO World Report on Vision, Opportunities for Optometry to Make an Impact,” and will discuss the World Report on Vision on the distribution of eye disease and blindness across the globe and the disease burden these eye conditions pose on nations and regions. Additionally, the human resource requirements of eyecare providers needed to address this public health crisis will be covered. Optometric representatives, specifically the session speakers, played an instrumental role in developing the report. They will discuss the findings and their implications for optometry internationally and for North America respectively. The keynote speaker from WHO will give attendees an overview of the organization’s efforts to tackle the extensive disease and blindness burdens on society throughout the world and where optometry fits into this effort. Speakers include Kovin Naidoo, OD, PhD, FAAO, Sandra Block, OD, MPH, FAAO, and a speaker from the World Health Organization.

The Monroe J. Hirsch Research Symposium is titled, “Gene Therapy for Ocular and Neurologic Disorders.” Contemporary issues in gene therapy will be discussed including Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, animal models of glaucoma, and Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. Speakers will include Stephen Russell, MD, Abbott Clark, PhD, and Byron Lam, MD.

Ezell Fellows Present is a symposium where three investigators at different stages of their careers, who were supported early on through the Foundation’s Ezell Fellowships, present their research. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the symposium and is titled, “Public Health / Epidemiology Potpourri.” Included in this session will be discussions on anterior segment infectious eye disease and US national health datasets used to assess vision impairment. Speakers will be Nicole Carnt, BOptom, PhD, FAAO, Charlotte Joslin, OD, PhD, FAAO, and Dean VanNasdale, OD, PhD, FAAO.

The World Council of Optometry President’s Forum is titled, “Optometry’s Role in Addressing the Changing Face of Technology, Public Health and Clinical care.” This invitation-only event provides a platform wherein the highest level of decision makers and key partners of our profession come together to discuss the current development of optometry and the desired impact that it envisages in the broader health agenda across the world.

The Global Summit on Optometric Education, co-sponsored by the World Council of Optometry, American Academy of Optometry, and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, will provide educators from optometric educational programs from around the globe the opportunity to share education philosophies/teaching methods and to discuss challenges facing institutions.

The meeting will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Registration and housing open on May 6, 2019. For more information, visit www.aaopt.org/2019 or www.worldcongressofoptometry.org.

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APS Members Brief Congressional Offices on Concerns Regarding Robocalls & Substitution of Contact Lenses

They visited nearly a dozen congressional offices.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WASHINGTON – Members of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) visited nearly a dozen congressional offices. During these meetings, APS advocates briefed Members of Congress and their staffs on problems that vision care patients face including online sellers’ problematic use of robocalls and the medical dangers and safety threats posed by the substitution of lenses that have not been prescribed to a patient.

The 2004 Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act requires that all third-party sellers must verify prescriptions with an eye doctor and fill the prescription as written. However, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Contact Lens Rule allows verification to be done via robocalls. Oftentimes, information relayed in these robocalls is garbled or do not align with a patient’s chart—making it difficult, or even impossible, to correctly identify the patient and proper prescription.

More than 45 million Americans rely on contact lenses – U.S. Food and Drug Administration Class II and Class III regulated medical devices – for safe and effective vision correction. Contact lenses are more complex than they appear, having differing shapes, strengths, and water contents. There are no generics. Substitution of lenses not as prescribed by the patient’s doctor can lead to serious health complications, including infections and other sight-threatening conditions, such as corneal edema, ulcers, and neovascularization.

Dr. Deanna Alexander, chairwoman of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety, said, “Access to contact lenses should be fair and safe for patients while preserving the doctor-patient relationship, just as Congress intended. The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety is committed to working with lawmakers and regulators to address the FTC Contact Lens Rule verification loophole that puts patients’ eye health and safety at risk.”

The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety has made it a priority to close loopholes within the existing verification process and prevent the dangerous sale of counterfeit lenses and the substitution of lenses to reduce the risk of preventable vision loss.

The Alliance was founded in 2018 to advocate for patient safety and to protect and defend the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of personalized health care decision making. For more information, please visit www.PatientSafetyToday.com.

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Marchon and ABG Announce License Renewals for Nautica and Nine West Eyewear

Retail distribution for both brands is very strong.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Marchon Eyewear, Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of quality eyewear and sunwear, and Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of a global portfolio of lifestyle entertainment brands, announced the long term renewals of the existing global eyewear licensing agreements for the Nautica and Nine West brands, respectively.

The strong alliance between the two companies is for the exclusive worldwide design, development, production and distribution of optical eyewear and sunglasses for Nautica, and optical eyewear and prescription sunglasses for Nine West.

“Given their leadership in the eyewear space, we are pleased to continue our partnership with Marchon on the expansion of Nautica and Nine West eyewear. Both of these brands coupled with Marchon’s expertise provide fashion eyewear to both men and women with a recognizable and modern approach,” said Jarrod Weber, group president of Lifestyle at ABG.

“Nautica and Nine West are both iconic American brands that hold an important place in consumers’ hearts and minds. Both have been long term brands for Marchon and will continue to represent a core portion of our Lifestyle portfolio,” said Nicola Zotta, CEO & president of Marchon Eyewear, Inc. “We appreciate that ABG has provided a clear vision and thoughtful direction for each brand and we are honored to renew our partnership so as to strategically grow these brands within the eyewear category.”

Retail distribution for both brands is very strong with the Nautica eyewear collections sold worldwide in optical retailers, department and specialty stores, as well as through travel retail, nautica.com and other key online accounts. Nine West eyewear is sold around the world in upscale optical chains and specialty retailers, and is also available via individual eye care professionals.

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