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Eyecare Company Adds 3 Practices

They’re located in Georgia and Alabama.

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ST. LOUIS – EyeCare Partners LLC announced the acquisition of three optometry practices in Alabama and Georgia.

They are:

  • Potter Eye Care, the Decatur, AL, practice of Dr. Dale Potter, O.D.
  • Elan Eye, the Atlanta practice of Dr. Chad Poole, O.D.
  • Sharper Vision Eye Care, the Duluth, GA, practice of Dr. Mark Gottlieb, O.D.
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For years, Drs. Gottlieb, Poole and Potter have provided comprehensive optometric services and eyewear to patients in the Atlanta area as well as northern Alabama.

“Dr. Potter, Dr. Gottlieb and Dr. Poole are fantastic physicians who understand our mission and share the same values,” said Dr. James J. Wachter, chief professional officer of ECP. “They are a great fit with our model and we are excited to welcome them to our team.”

EyeCare Partners offers services throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and North Carolina. According to its website, the company has over 240 offices.

Potter said he had been “trying to decide on the best way to wind down my career” and hoped to focus on patient care rather than “the stresses of managing a business.”

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“I have known of EyeCare Associates in Alabama (now part of ECP) for several years,” he said. “ECP is a group of very well respected doctors, many of whom I have personally known for most of my professional career. By joining this group of fine doctors, I believe I can continue serving my patients for many more years with the same care and professional approach I have had in private practice while getting the value for my practice I thought I deserved after all these years.”

Poole said, “For some time I have wanted to spend more time on specialties such as pediatrics, emergency eye care, and specialty contact lenses. EyeCare Partners has many practice locations with extensive resources to assist me in growing these specialties. At the same time, my patients will enjoy the same private-practice feel, with the same doctor and improved organization and inventory management.”

Gottlieb, who ran his own practice for 27 years, said, “I am a medical optometrist and believe in the medical model, my research and conversations with other people in the industry confirmed my conclusion that ECP was the best partner.”

Kelly McCrann, CEO of ECP, said, “ECP is committed to expanding in our existing Atlanta and northern Alabama markets. Adding these top-notch physicians to our family is just another demonstration of that commitment. We are excited to learn best practices from our new partners and continue to expand the communities we serve.”

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Pharma Company with Eyecare Focus Names CEO

He previously served as interim chief.

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EMERYVILLE, CA — NovaBay Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focusing on commercializing Avenova for the domestic eye care market, announces the appointments of Justin Hall as president and CEO and Jason Raleigh as chief financial officer.

Hall has served as interim president and CEO, and Raleigh as interim CFO, since March 2019.

“Justin and Jason have proven their leadership abilities by successfully implementing the shift in our U.S. commercial strategy we announced in March and executing the recent launch of our U.S. direct-to-consumer sales of Avenova on Amazon.com,” said Paul E. Freiman, chairman of NovaBay.

“This is a very exciting time at NovaBay as we launch Avenova Direct, making our leading lid and lash spray directly accessible to consumers without a prescription and at affordable pricing,” Hall said. “My close working relationships with our Board, principal investors, and sales force are key to quickly adjusting our strategy to rapidly address opportunities in the marketplace. We are on the move and we have momentum.”

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Raleigh said: “I’m honored to be selected as CFO and appreciate the Board’s trust in my abilities. I look forward to continuing to work with Justin and the NovaBay team toward the continued successful commercialization of Avenova.”

Hall has served with NovaBay for six years in a variety of roles, including as corporate counsel, and has been actively involved in a number of operating functions, including the sales organization and manufacturing. Raleigh has been with NovaBay for more than three years and has nearly 20 years of financial experience.

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AOA: Amazon Has Dropped Noncompliant Contact Lens Sellers

AOA plans to ‘continue to monitor the site and report retailers.’

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The American Optometric Association reports that Amazon’s marketplace no longer displays noncompliant, decorative contact lens vendors following complaints from the AOA.

The AOA explains that it had alerted the e-commerce retailer to potential violations of federal law and its own medical device policy.

In a Feb. 27 letter to Amazon, the AOA emphasized that contact lenses — whether corrective or plano — are U.S. Food and Drug Administration-regulated medical devices that not only require a prescription from a licensed practitioner for purchase, but also fall under Amazon’s own policy for “Medical Devices and Accessories.” That policy mandates how sellers must abide by all federal, state and local laws, which in this case, the AOA noted, includes patient protection provisions of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumer Act (FCLCA).

Per federal law, vendors “may sell contact lenses only in accordance with a contact lens prescription for the patient that is (1) presented to the seller by the patient or prescriber directly or by facsimile; or (2) verified by direct communication.”

AOA’s letter noted: “The contact lenses available for sale on Amazon are sold entirely without a prescription, which we believe is an FCLCA violation.” Furthermore, “in addition to sales via (Amazon’s) platform raising legal questions related to the FCLCA, the guidance provided by sellers regarding these FDA-regulated medical devices is very concerning.”

The AOA’s letter document instructions from vendors such as “… gently press the contact lens opposite clockwise or counterclockwise turn 30 times [sic], and put in a box for a new care solution … if you do not use for a long time, please put in the box, soak with care solution [sic], replace the care solution every three days.”

Such guidance is “wholly inappropriate and dangerous,” the AOA states in a post on its website. It notes that proper physician oversight is necessary for medical devices that require a physician’s prescription.

According to AOA:

In response, Amazon thanked AOA for its diligence and reiterated its own medical devices policy while stating the company will take appropriate action when products are reported for legal non-compliance. As of June 4, those violating posts that AOA first identified and reported have been removed. The AOA will continue to monitor the site and report retailers.

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Ophthalmologists Hope to Undo State Law That Allows ODs to Perform Eye Surgery

They’re attempting a ballot referendum.

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A movement is afoot in Arkansas to undo recently passed state legislation that allows optometrists to perform certain surgeries.

It’s being led by Safe Surgery Arkansas, a group of medical doctors, Talk Business & Politics reports. They hope to use a ballot referendum to accomplish their goal.

R. Scott Lowery, president of the Arkansas Ophthalmological Society, was quoted saying: “Every day the people of Arkansas rely on medical doctors who have the experience and training to perform medical procedures to ensure that they are getting world class healthcare in Arkansas. We are confident that when the people are heard on this issue, they will not allow individuals without medical degrees and without surgical residencies to jeopardize the precious eyesight of Arkansans.”

The legislation was signed into law in March. The procedures that it allows optometrists to perform include selective laser trabeculoplasty and Nd:YAG laser procedures, along with injections (excluding intravenous and intraocular), removal of lid lesions and chalazion incision and curettage.

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The bill called on the Arkansas Board of Optometry to establish credentialing requirements for optometrists to perform these laser procedures, as well as require those doctors to report the outcomes of their procedures to the board.

Vicki Farmer, executive director of the Arkansas Optometry Association, was quoted noting that Arkansas legislators “overwhelmingly approved this measure during the recent session, after listening to hours of testimony and debate, and learning optometrists in other states, like Oklahoma, have been safely performing these procedures for more than 20 years.”

Read more at Talk Business & Politics

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