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Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety Responds to FTC Proposed Contact Lens Rule

“It does not fully address patient safety concerns around robocall verification of contact lens prescriptions”, chairwoman says.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WASHINGTON – The Healthcare Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance) released the following statement in response to last week’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed supplemental rulemaking on the 2016 proposed Contact Lens Rule.

Congress charged the FTC with enforcing contact lens prescription verification requirements with the passage of the 2004 Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA). However, a lack of enforcement of some patient safety protections and the allowance of robocalls as a permissible form of communication for prescription verification has contributed to a growth in illegal sales, including through the filling of expired or non-existent prescriptions and the filling of prescriptions with devices other than what was prescribed by the doctor which put patients eye health and safety at risk.

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The FTC’s proposed rule acknowledges some of the key problems associated with prescription verification via robocalls but does not close the verification loophole. Instead, the proposed rule only requires that automated verification telephone messages are “delivered in a slow and deliberate manner and at a reasonably understandable volume,” and “that prescribers be able to repeat the message.”

The FTC shared its concern about the misuse of the prescription verification process to substitute a different brand or manufacturer of lenses. The Alliance agrees with the FTC that contact lens brands are not interchangeable and that substitution is a growing problem in the market, but the Alliance believes that greater enforcement is necessary to ensure that patients receive the exact lenses prescribed by their doctor.

Dr. Deanna Alexander, chairwoman of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety, said, “The FTC’s proposed rule does recognize important issues with the contact lens market, but it does not fully address patient safety concerns around robocall verification of contact lens prescriptions or the ongoing enforcement of illegal substitution for what the patient’s doctor has prescribed. Re-playable, slow and deliberate messages are not the same thing as accurate and secured verification. We believe there is more work to be done to close the verification loophole and protect patients throughout the verification process.”

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. Improper lens usage, which can result from the 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.

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The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety has made it a priority to close loopholes within the existing verification process and prevent the substitution of lenses to reduce the risk of preventable vision loss. We will continue to work with the FTC, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Congress to be a strong voice and advocate for patient health and safety.

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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Safilo’s “American Eyes” Video Celebrates Elasta and Emozioni starring ECPs Peter Tacia and Heidi Dancer

For the third year in a row, Safilo has looked to trusted eyecare professionals to star in its American Eyes campaign for its Elasta and Emozioni collections.Their latest testimonials are from Peter Tacia, O.D. and Heidi Dancer, optician, of Alma, MI, talking about two best-selling collections: Elasta and Emozioni.

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Press Releases

Etnia Barcelona Foundation Partners with Von Miller’s Von’s Vision Foundation

Etnia Barcelona is set to become the exclusive provider of fashionable frames for Von’s Vision Centers.

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(PRESS RELEASE) – In continuation of expanding its growth and outreach efforts in the U.S. market, Etnia Barcelona has announced a partnership with Linebacker Von Miller of the NFL’s Denver Broncos and his charitable foundation, Von’s Vision. With support from its own foundation, Etnia Barcelona is set to become the exclusive provider of fashionable frames for Von’s Vision Centers, one of the signature community outreach program’s Von’s Vision.

The newest program of Miller’s foundation, Von’s Vision Centers allow in-need students to receive vision care on an ongoing basis without the burden of transportation. These new centers are a customized optical center kiosk, located at select Boys & Girls Club facilities in Metro Denver and soon-to-be Texas A&M University, that hold fashionable eyewear and accessories, creating a unique and exciting optical center on wheels.

Volunteer medical providers, provided through Hero Practice Services, will use portable equipment to conduct onsite eye exams and the children and young adults will “shop” for fashionable eyewear, provided by Etnia Barcelona Foundation. Once ready, their fulfilled glasses with lenses will be delivered back to the participating Von’s Vision Center location for a reveal day.

As a part of their contribution the Etnia Barcelona Foundation has recently donated over 3,000 frames with its anticipation for the Von’s Vision Center to serve a minimum of 600 children this year alone. The first Vision Day will commence on May 14, 2019, with a combination of several other charitable events throughout the year.

Together, Etnia Barcelona hopes to continue our partnership in the years to come and expand the outreach of both programs across the entire United States.

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Press Releases

L’Amy America Launches Tri-Flex Performance Series

It offers a 3-point, self-adjusting temple tip system.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NORWALK, CT – America’s athletic wear originator, Champion brings a new 3-tiered sub collection of performance-based eyewear, to a market thirsting for heritage sport brands offering value-added features and true performance.

Perfectly suited for active lifestyles, Champion’s new Tri-Flex collection offers a 3-point, self-adjusting temple tip system which provides custom fit, secure grip, and on face stability. The tip, which adjusts from 1 to 90 degrees downward, gently but securely fits over the mastoidal bend, allowing the frame to fit snuggly and comfortably over the ear. An easy click and the system is engaged-the wearer can perform any task from basketball and golf to yard work and boating without worry of frames slipping, bouncing, or moving around during wear. Offering the same security as other eyewear retaining devices, the Tri-Flex tip is built-in to the frame. No extra “cord” required to insure frame security.

The Tri-Flex collection is comprised of 5 ophthalmic models for adults (2 in Extended Size), 4 ophthalmic models for tweens, and 4 sunglasses also for adults. With features such as handmade acetate and stainless steel fronts, optical quality polarized lenses and custom-crafted color selections, the new Tri-Flex series offers the same fine quality construction and powerful consumer brand recognition as its core eyewear collection.

L’Amy America Lifestyle Brands Director, Connie Reiss reminds “Champion was Lyst.com’s #2 most-searched brand of 2018. We are fueling this explosive brand-trajectory with the Tri-Flex series of eyewear, while ultimately drawing upon Champion roots of athletic functionality.”

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Coburn Technologies New National Sales Manager for Diagnostics Instruments

He will focus on diagnostic instruments for the United States market.

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Ezequiel Lukin

(PRESS RELEASE) SOUTH WINDSOR, CT – Coburn Technologies, Inc. welcomes Ezequiel Lukin as its new national sales manager, with specific focus on diagnostic instruments for the United States market.

“Ezequiel is a great addition to our team,” states vice president of sales, Wayne Labrecque. “Our diagnostics product line is an integral part of our business, and with a growing interest in our products, as well as new product development, we are confident Ezequiel will strategically build our business further.”

Lukin is an experienced veteran in the optical industry. As the former global sales manager for Volk Optical, Lukin brings more than 20 years of sales and optical experience to Coburn Technologies. His experience includes general sales with a specific focus on diagnostics instruments to eye care practitioners in the United States, Latin America and Europe.

“I am excited to be joining Coburn Technologies,” Lukin said. “Coburn is a well-respected company in the industry, and I believe that with my experience and their history, we will drive the company’s share in the diagnostics instruments market to new heights.”

Lukin joins Coburn Technologies’ sales team, which has recently added a number of industry veterans including Marina Vaynberger, international regional sales manager, Al Bednar, director of laboratory sales, Mark Kaplan senior territory sales representative and Jason Frank, sales manager for Latin America.

“Ezequiel represents the latest addition to strengthening our international sales organization,” states Alex Incera, president of Coburn Technologies. “With specific focus on developing our ophthalmic instruments business, Ezequiel is an integral addition and will help drive our diagnostics product offering and market leadership.”

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