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House Subcommittee Urges FTC to Modernize Contact Lens Verification Process

Patient safety advocates have repeatedly called attention to flaws in current rules related to prescription verification.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WASHINGTON – The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance) this week expressed its support of the House Committee on Appropriations for urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to update the process by which contact lens prescriptions are verified.

The Committee report, which accompanies the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) funding bill, comes as the FTC is accepting additional public comments on the proposed Contact Lens Rule. Patient safety advocates have repeatedly called attention to flaws in current rules related to prescription verification.

The FSGG report, which can be read here, states:

Contact Lenses. — In May, the FTC released a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking detailing potential adjustments to its proposed changes to the Contact Lens Rule. This ensures that the FTC will receive additional input from the public and stakeholders on potential improvements to the rule to address patient safety and enforcement mechanisms, among other issues. The Committee urges the FTC to address the need for the prescription verification process to be modernized to provide for adequate enforcement of the law.

Thomas Swinnen, North America President of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and member of the Alliance, stated, “This report language reflects the importance of amplifying patient eye health and safety issues with policymakers. We’re pleased that the Committee recognizes the need to modernize the prescription verification process—a critical step in maintaining the doctor-patient relationship at the center of patient care.”

For several years, Alliance members and patient safety advocates have called for updated verification methods that would ensure patients receive the proper medical devices they were prescribed by their eye care professional.

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In 2018, the Alliance submitted comments to the FTC that highlighted the problems with the current prescription verification system. The comments read, in part, “FTC action to modernize its guidance around passive-verification communication while excluding antiquated technology (e.g. robocalls) would provide greater documentation and the possibility of greater oversight in the [prescription] verification process. Greater oversight, understanding and documentation will ultimately create a safer and more efficient environment for contact lens wearers and the verification of their prescriptions through clearer, concise and accurate communication between the prescriber and the seller.”

“The doctor-patient relationship is central to the widespread enjoyment of contact lenses. A key part of that equation is ensuring what was prescribed is ultimately provided, as each contact lens is precisely selected for a patient’s specific vision and health needs,” said Michele Andrews, OD, Senior Director, North American Professional & Academic Affairs, CooperVision. “We are committed to advancing healthy contact lens wear for millions of consumers and encourage the FTC to share in this responsibility by addressing and fixing outmoded verification techniques.”

The Alliance encourages patients to share their stories of how antiquated technology in the prescription verification process has been detrimental to their vision health. To share your story and tell the FTC to protect patient safety, visit www.PatientSafetyToday.com/Share_Your_Story.

Deanna Alexander, OD, chairwoman of the Alliance, concluded, “For a significant period of time, patient safety advocates, like the members of the Alliance, have shared the potential dangers that could stem from the FTC’s current rules related to contact lens prescription verification. Now, as Congress makes it clear that they believe it’s time for a verification system that protects patients’ vision health, the Alliance is hopeful that the FTC will carefully consider adjustments to the Contact Lens Rule to better safeguard patients.”

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2019 American Academy of Optometry Resident Travel Fellowship Recipients Announced

This will allow residents to attend Academy 2019 Orlando and 3rd World Congress of Optometry, October 23-27, 2019.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ORLANDO, FL – The American Academy of Optometry congratulates the recipients of the 2019 Resident Travel Fellowship Awards. These travel fellowships will allow residents to attend Academy 2019 Orlando and 3rd World Congress of Optometry, October 23-27, 2019.

Allergan Resident Travel Fellowships
Sponsored by Allergan

  • Dana Rhea, OD, Northeastern State University
  • Corinne Wong, OD, Southern California College of Optometry
  • Mary Chivetta, OD, University of Missouri at St. Louis
  • Luke Lirones, OD, Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University
  • Nicole Harris, OD, Illinois College of Optometry
  • Elizabeth Davis, OD, Southern College of Optometry
  • Allison Choi, OD, Pacific University
  • Vincent Chan, OD, Pacific University
  • Jesal Haribhakti, OD, Indiana University
  • Sara Moses, OD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Amrit Bilkhu, OD, University of California, Berkeley
  • Courtney Cape, OD, University of Houston
  • Abigail Gonsalves, OD, Indiana University
  • Courtney Hongo, OD, Southern California College of Optometry
  • Dennis Giang, OD, Southern California College of Optometry
  • Allegra Burgher, OD, Southern California College of Optometry
  • Skylar Williams, OD, University of Houston
  • Lucinda Kauffman, OD, Pennsylvania College of Optometry
  • Abigail Strauss, OD, Illinois College of Optometry
  • Carissa Hintz, OD, Pacific University
  • Jessica Jankiewicz, OD, Illinois College of Optometry
  • Madison Goodfellow, OD, Illinois College of Optometry
  • Kelly Morgan, OD, MS, The Ohio State University
  • Sydney Cooper, OD, Southern College of Optometry
  • Maria Adriaansen, OD, Pennsylvania College of Optometry
  • Elizabeth Brooks, OD, Pennsylvania College of Optometry
  • Vikarma Brooks, OD, Pennsylvania College of Optometry
  • Andrew Henderson, OD, Northeastern State University
  • Daisy Berisha, OD, State University of New York
  • Branden Shaffer, OD, Indiana University
  • Sohail Sakkari, OD, State University of New York
  • Rachel Choi, OD, University of Houston
  • Kimber Kenzli, OD, Pacific University
  • Lauren Fernandez, OD, Southern California College of Optometry
  • Reid Gardner, OD, Southern California College of Optometry
  • Sarah Quan, OD, PhD, State University of New York
  • Larissa Krenk, OD, Indiana University
  • Jaana Ashtiani-Zarandi, OD, Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University
  • Jimmy Nguyen, OD, Nova Southeastern University
  • Taylor Phillips, OD, MBA, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Anterior Segment Resident Travel Fellowships
Sponsored by the Anterior Segment Section of the American Academy of Optometry

Brittany Hoyle, OD, Southern California College of Optometry
Paige Sorrentino, OD, Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry

Arizona Chapter Resident Travel Fellowship
Sponsored by the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Optometry

Jacqueline Yi, OD, Sierra Vista VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic

Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies Resident Travel Fellowships
Sponsored by CooperVision

  • Nicole Poon, OD, Pennsylvania College of Optometry
  • Christopher Albright, OD, Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University
  • Thanhan Nguyen, OD, Illinois College of Optometry
  • Audrey Janelle-Brousseau, OD, University of Montreal
  • Baljinder Momrath, OD, Pennsylvania College of Optometry
  • Vanessa Wang, OD, State University of New York
  • Chelsea Bradley, OD, University of California, Berkeley
  • Ryan Rutschilling, OD, The Ohio State University
  • Mari Fujimoto, OD, Pacific University
  • Pooja Mahadev, OD, Nova Southeastern University
  • Valerie Lim, OD, Southern California College of Optometry
  • Christina Wenn, OD, University of Houston
  • Duc Tran, OD, University of the Incarnate Word
  • Ghazal Naseri, OD, University of California, Berkeley
  • Joseph Isik, OD, Illinois College of Optometry
  • Amrit Jawanda, OD, New England College of Optometry
  • Jacqueline Benoit, OD, The Ohio State University
  • Kimberly Weisenberger, OD, The Ohio State University
  • Haley Italia, OD, New England College of Optometry
  • Kendra Phillis, OD, New England College of Optometry
  • Rosa (Yawen) Yang, OD, University of Waterloo
  • Kevan Smith, OD, Southern College of Optometry
  • Jessica Sun, OD, Southern California College of Optometry
  • Matthew Lee, OD, University of Missouri at St. Louis

Florida Chapter Resident Travel Fellowships
Sponsored by the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Optometry

  • Alexandria Rawls, OD, Bay Pines VA Medical Center
  • Mickinzee Combs, OD, Nova Southeastern University
  • Lauren Nicholas, OD, Nova Southeastern University
  • Esther Park, OD, Nova Southeastern University

IKA Resident Travel Fellowships
Sponsored by the International Keratoconus Academy

Sophia Leung, OD, Northeastern State University
Yue Yu, OD, PhD, New England College of Optometry

Travel fellowship recipients will be recognized at the Student and Resident Awards Lunch on Thursday, October 24 from Noon to 1 PM in Valencia W415 CD in the Orange County Convention Center. CooperVision Resident Travel Fellowships will be presented at the CooperVision booth #809 on Thursday, October 24 from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM in the exhibit hall. The IKA Resident Travel Fellowship will be presented at the American Academy of Optometry Foundation Celebration Luncheon on Saturday, October 26 from 11:00 to 1:30 PM.

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Press Releases

Registration Open for International Sports Vision Association Annual Conference

It’s on February 6-8, 2020 at the Bahia Resort Hotel in San Diego, California.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NORTH ROYALTON, OH — Registration is now open for Beyond 20/20, the Fourth Annual International Sports Vision Association (ISVA) conference, Feb. 6-8, 2020, at the Bahia Resort Hotel in San Diego, CA.

“Sports Vision, the science of helping athletes reach peak levels of performance through the enhancement of visual skills, is becoming more and more important in training individuals of many sports,” says ISVA president Alex Andrich, OD, FCOVD. “With this growth, more practitioners are recognizing that Sports Vision is an excellent specialty service that can become a valuable addition to their primary care practice.”

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This year’s meeting kicks off with two separate day-long Pre-Conference Workshops (Feb. 6). Each will each offer up to six hours of continuing education (COPE approval pending) through a combination of lecture and hands-on style, with various evaluation and training techniques and equipment under the guidance of experienced sports vision professionals.

“One workshop is geared towards those interested in establishing a sports vision practice to demonstrate techniques and practices that add unique value to athlete clients,” explains conference education co-chair Greg Appelbaum, Ph.D. “The other workshop is designed for Sports Vision professionals who are already conducting specific vision skill testing and actively engaged in working with athletes and/or teams and looking to provide added services and value to their clients.” Each workshop will be limited to 40 participants.

The ISVA General Conference (Feb. 7-8) will provide an additional 13 hours of continuing education (COPE approval pending). Scheduled speakers include some of the leading authorities in sports vision assessment and training including Paul Harris, OD, FCOVD, FACBO, FAAO, FNAP, Robert Sanet, OD, FCOVD, Kristine Dalton, OD, PhD, MCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, and Todd Daniels, MS, ATC, LMT, CSCS. A complete list of speakers and scheduled presentation can be found on the ISVA website.

Register by Dec. 5, 2019 to receive an early bird conference discount for the General Conference. Current and new ISVA members receive reduced pricing. Any student in a professional degree program or resident in a post-graduate program is eligible for a complementary membership and there is a minimal registration fee for attending the conference. To register for the conference, see a full list of scheduled speakers and presentations, and receive a special discount rate at the conference hotel, visit www.sportsvision.pro. For further information, email info@sportsvision.pro.

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Press Releases

L’Amy America Announces Multi-Year Agreement with Marquee

The Ben Sherman eyewear collection will be available in June 2020.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NORWALK, CT – L’Amy America, part of International Luxury Group,  announces it has entered into a multi-year license agreement with Marquee Brands to design, market, and distribute a collection of eco-green sunglasses and ophthalmic frames for the Ben Sherman brand.

Ben Sherman forever changed clothing history in 1963 by taking the classic American Ivy-League shirt and revitalizing it with unique color and candy stripe designs, transforming a typical shirt into a statement. Since then, Ben Sherman has grown into a global brand adopted by almost every youth culture and style movement for the last 50 years, and is still worn today by the bands and style leaders of the current decade.

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Ben Sherman was appointed the official supporter to Team Great Britain for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the athletes will wear exclusive Ben Sherman looks during the official Opening Ceremony.

“We are delighted to partner with Ben Sherman to create an eco-green sunglass and ophthalmic collection for one of Britain’s most iconic brands,” said Stephen Rappoport, CEO of L’ Amy America. “Ben Sherman perfectly complements our diverse and ever-growing portfolio as our first British lifestyle brand, and will include quintessential British heritage detailing and styling. We are committed to using eco materials in this collection from both a product and packaging standpoint,” says Rappoport.

“We are excited to partner with L’ Amy America. Combining L’ Amy America’s expertise in the industry with Ben Sherman’s rich British heritage and reputation for innovative artistry, our goal is to create eco-friendly eyewear to service the needs of our broad and constantly evolving consumer base. We are passionate about bringing products to market that uphold the quality and craftsmanship standards that Ben Sherman has celebrated for over 50 years. The Ben Sherman eyewear story will reflect the legacy and philosophy it has adopted since its inception—the freedom of expression in a modern world, with an eco-friendly push,” says Talbot Logan, SVP Brand Management at Marquee Brands.

The new eco-green Ben Sherman collection will preview at Vision Expo East in 2020, and will include 18 ophthalmic styles and 6 sunglass styles composed of environmentally responsible materials. The collection will be fully supported by lifestyle imagery, product packaging, and a host of point-of-purchase materials.

The Ben Sherman eyewear collection will be made available in optical stores, Ben Sherman stores, Dutyfree, and sun specialty stores around the globe beginning June 2020.

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