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Eyes on New York Awards to Honor Regeneron for Innovation

It is the first Eyes on Innovation Award.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Regeneron, a biotechnology company, will receive the 2019 Eyes on Innovation Award during the 16th annual Eyes on New York Awards Celebration at Cipriani 42 in New York City on Friday, March 22.

The gala is the signature event of the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the affiliated foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry. Proceeds from the evening will directly support patient care, scholarships and research at the college.

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Regeneron invents life-transforming medicines, improves the drug development process through its proprietary technologies and advances science through its research initiatives, including the Regeneron Genetics Center, which is one of the leading genomics efforts in the world.

“Regeneron is honored to receive the first-ever Eyes on Innovation Award from the Optometric Center of New York,” said Dr. Robert Vitti, the company’s vice president of clinical sciences for ophthalmology. “We are deeply committed to continuing our research to bring new innovations to patients in need.”

Founded in 1988 and led for three decades by physician-scientists Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer, president and CEO, and Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer, the Tarrytown, NY-headquartered company has a robust internally discovered and developed product pipeline which has led to seven FDA-approved treatments and more than 20 investigational candidates.

EYLEA (aflibercept) Injection is indicated for diseases of the retina – wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema (DME) or diabetic retinopathy in DME and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion. “Losing vision to a retinal disease can be devastating, a reality that optometrists know far too well as the ones often on the frontlines of diagnosis,” Vitti said.

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Beyond its team of more than 7,500 people, Regeneron also focuses on fostering the next generation of scientific innovators. The company supports STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiatives for promising young minds, particularly the Regeneron Science Talent Search for high-school-aged scientists.

“Regeneron is an exceptional example of SUNY Optometry’s institutional values, particularly leadership, inquiry and innovation,” said OCNY Executive Director Dawn Rigney. “The company has made significant contributions to the biotech industry and biomedical research and we look forward to honoring them in March.”

Drs. Susan and Mark Fromer of Fromer Eye Centers will receive the 2019 Eyes on Leadership Award during the celebration and Dr. Max Gomez, senior medical correspondent for WCBS-TV, will serve as master of ceremonies.

More than 270 attendees supported last year’s event. For additional information, visit www.sunyopt.edu/gala

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Newly Introduced Federal Legislation Puts Doctors and Patients Back in Control of Important Health Care Decisions

AOA-backed “DOC Access Act” targets health and vision plan abuses; improves quality and access for millions of patients.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WASHINGTON – A bi-partisan bill backed by the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to counter abusive practices in the federally regulated vision and dental coverage markets, and ensure patients and doctors – as opposed to insurance and plan executives – are at the center of important health care decision-making.

“The DOC Access Act seeks to completely ban, at the Federal level, anti-doctor and anti-patient policies of vision plans,” said Barbara L. Horn, O.D., AOA president. “The AOA is proud to join with the American Dental Association in supporting this legislation and in thanking Reps. Loebsack, Carter and all of the other original co-sponsors for their decisive leadership.”

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Introduced by Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) on July 15th, H.R. 3762, or the Dental and Optometric Care Access (DOC Access) Act, already enjoys support from seven cosponsors, building upon the overwhelming support generated in the 115th Congress with 105 U.S. House Republicans and Democrats. The bill would eliminate plan mandates being forced on patients and their doctors that ultimately result in higher prices and less access to care. In effect, the legislation would complement state-level vision plan laws by disallowing detrimental policies by ERISA and other federally regulated vision and health plans, namely:

  • Limits on a doctor’s choice of lab
  • Mandates on noncovered services and materials

Each year, millions of Americans rely on local doctors of optometry for their comprehensive vision and eye health care needs. While many patients have coverage for medical eye care through a health plan, roughly 200 million Americans have supplemental preventive eye exam and materials (glasses/contact lenses) benefits through a vision plan.

Unfortunately, special legal treatment (vision plans often aren’t regulated like health insurers) and a lack of competition in the market. Currently, a small number of national, vertically—integrated plans monopolize markets in a large majority of communities. In fact, the two most dominant vision plans provide coverage to roughly two-thirds of Americans with this coverage, which means plans can dictate how doctors furnish services thereby limiting patient choice.

A 2016 study by Avalon Health Economics conducted by a group of independent health economists found that this kind of monopsony behavior exhibited by vision plans harms consumers. Avalon concluded that “such mandates have another effect – they lead to higher overall costs for these consumers and, especially, for consumers without vision plans as doctors are forced to compensate for the transfer of operating margins from doctors to the plans.”

Already, 42 states have enacted legislation addressing these and other plan abuses; however, roughly one-third of plans operating in any given state can sidestep these laws because they are federally regulated. Moreover, some of these states only provide protections from one of dental or vision plans but not both.

AOA’s member doctors of optometry and students are encouraged to urge their U.S. House members to co-sponsor the bill. Visit AOA’s Online Legislative Action Center for more information on supporting optometry’s priority issues.

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Charmant USA Announces Eddie Bauer Contest Winner

It provides one lucky customer with an all-expenses-paid-adventure of their choice.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MORRIS PLAINS, NJ – Charmant USA Inc. has announced the winner from its 2019 Eddie Bauer Live Your Adventure contest, providing one lucky customer with an all-expenses-paid-adventure of their choice.

Dr. Mark Bowers of Blountville Family Eyecare in Blountville, TN, and his wife, Amanda Bowers, will be enjoying an adventure of their choosing in Oregon in August. The trip includes a four-day, three-night stay. They were able to select from one of four locations: Maine, Oregon, Arizona or Colorado.

The contest was based on Eddie Bauer eyewear purchases; every frame purchased from Charmant between Jan. 28 and April 30 earned customers one entry into a drawing. Every customer who purchased 20 or more Eddie Bauer frames earned double entries. The drawing was held on May 31, and the winner was announced in June.

Jean Simone, Charmant’s vice president of sales, said, “We are happy to see this trip go to a great customer. We hope they enjoy their adventure and look forward to hearing all about the trip upon their return.”

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CooperVision’s Joel Kamp Promoted to Executive Role at Paragon Vision Sciences

Promotion comes following his success as a director of corporate accounts in the same company.

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(PRESS RELEASE) PHOENIX — In a move that will further strengthen Paragon Vision Science’s expansion across the United States, the company has appointed Joel Kamp as U.S. commercial director. This promotion comes following his success as a director of corporate accounts at CooperVision, where he focused on customer partnerships, satisfaction and growth. Paragon is part of the CooperVision Specialty EyeCare division.

In the new role, Kamp has responsibility for sales and marketing strategy and execution, including enhanced support for eye care professional (ECP)-centered initiatives. Over the past several months, Paragon has established dedicated practice management and account management teams in Northern California, Southern California, New York/New Jersey, Houston/Dallas and Phoenix. This is in direct response to rising ECP demand for myopia education and support.

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“Joel’s 25 years of optometric and ophthalmological experience will help us further accelerate our growth and extend our myopia leadership in partnership with ECPs. We’re excited for him to play a significant role in shaping our in-market teams. That structure is unique, and specifically designed to promote practice expansion with the clinical support necessary for the successful adoption of specialty lenses,” said Rich Jeffries, president of Paragon.

Each regional Paragon team consists of an account manager and practice management consultant, who support ECPs to more fully integrate Paragon CRT and other contact lenses into their practices. This includes customized clinical educational experiences for individual practitioners and staff, with a focus on hands-on collaboration.

“These teams are already working with some of the top practices in the U.S.,” noted Jeffries. “We’re seeing ECPs suddenly much more aware of the extent of clinical support, education and marketing tools and insights available from Paragon.

The CooperVision Specialty EyeCare division accelerates eye care professionals’ access to innovative products that help improve the way people see each day, with a focus on the development of myopia management approaches and visual correction of irregular corneas. It encompasses Paragon Vision Sciences, Blanchard Contact Lenses, Soflex, and Procornea, which operate independently while sharing technical, clinical and commercial knowledge, benefitting from CooperVision’s global presence and infrastructure.

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