ECPs Focus on Cost, Yet Majority of Consumers Expect and Follow Recommendations for Healthiest Options Regardless of Cost
PLEASANTON, CALIF., June 25, 2018—A series of global studies by CooperVision, Inc. is casting new light on beliefs held by some eye care professionals (ECPs) regarding 1-day silicone hydrogel contact lenses, challenging common myths that affect fitting habits. The findings and insights will be made available in a comprehensive report later this summer.
ECPs from Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States responded to a pair of in-depth surveys, querying them on a variety of topics specific to their contact lens fitting preferences and habits. Overwhelmingly, 92 percent agree that silicone hydrogel 1-day lenses are the best choice for patients’ eyes related to contact lens wear owing to their breathability1.
Oxygen permeability and lower risk of hypoxia-related problems were cited as the top two health factors for the silicone hydrogel preference. Globally, 77 percent of ECPs worry sometimes that their hydrogel 1-day lens wearers' corneas aren't getting all the oxygen they require2.
However, lingering myths about cost, allergy and comfort are causing ECPs to question their own judgement. This is leading some to prescribe older materials and modalities despite silicone hydrogel’s breathability advantages, which deliver 100% of needed oxygen to the eye.
ECP-Patient Trust Overcomes Perceived Cost Challenges
95 percent of ECPs say that if cost was equivalent, they would choose silicone hydrogel over hydrogel for 1-day patients1. Seemingly prohibitive cost to the patient is the most cited challenge when considering prescribing silicone hydrogel lenses2, even though 68% percent of consumers in new omnibus research said they expected their ECP to recommend the healthiest option regardless of cost3.
Moreover, 75% of current 1-day wearers agreed they would follow their ECPs’ contact lens recommendations, regardless of cost. And two-thirds (67%) of respondents said they would be willing to pay more for a lens that provides 100% of the oxygen that their eyes need3.
Prevalence of Contraindicated Allergies Debated
More than one in three (38 percent) ECPs believe that silicone allergies may be a factor when considering materials1. Yet in a recently published article in Contact Lens Spectrum4, well known researcher and lecturer Professor Lyndon Jones, PhD., FCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science, offers clear reasons to dispute that ocular allergies to silicone-based lenses exist.
Dr. Jones says other factors that mimic allergy are at work, since a silicone allergy “is not biologically possible.” He notes that “clinicians do a disservice to their profession, their scientific training, their patients, and to the contact lens industry by invoking the phrase ‘silicone allergy’ as an explanation for problems that patients might encounter with SiHys.”
“There will always be some patients who experience comfort problems with certain contact lens solutions, rewetting drops, and lens materials, whether they be hydrogel or SiHy lenses. However, this applies to many products and is not—in the case of SiHy materials—due to allergy to the material.”
Silicone Hydrogels Outperform on Comfort
While some ECPs continue to raise the comfort question, the CooperVision survey shows that 88 percent state that silicone hydrogel 1-day lenses provide better long term wearing comfort for patients than hydrogel 1-day lenses1.
Dr. Jones’ article notes the advances in more recent 1-day silicone hydrogel materials, such as achieving modulus values closer to those found in hydrogels, while citing published data on their “excellent levels of comfort and physiological response.”4
“These studies should help eye care professionals better understand what today’s healthcare-aware consumers expect – including their willingness to pay more for a breathable contact lens,” said Michele Andrews, OD, Senior Director of Professional and Academic Affairs, North America, CooperVision. “In fact, we uncovered that one in two patients would want to talk with their ECP about more breathable contact lenses, if only they knew about the options.”3
The CooperVison-contracted research also demonstrated that silicone hydrogel 1-day lenses were preferred by ECPs over hydrogel lenses across multiple points of evaluation, including a better wearing experience (90 percent agreement) and higher patient satisfaction (88 percent)1.
“If you look to other advancements in medicine, they typically come with a cost, yet also with discernible value to patients. In the case of CooperVision, we have the best of both worlds. Our innovation enables ECPs to offer both premium MyDay® daily disposable contact lenses, as well as our clariti® 1-day contact lenses, with pricing similar to many hydrogels. We’re continuing to invest in bringing ECPs the broadest 1-day silicone hydrogel portfolio in the world,” said Dr. Andrews.
Successful Practices Built on Trust & Communication
“Some of the most successful contact lens-fitting practices, both in patient satisfaction and business results, have learned to communicate a range of options to meet the needs of every person. That deepens the ECP-patient relationship while providing the best possible wearing experience,” noted Dr. Andrews.
The trust and communication factors apply universally, regardless of geography, and have been key to helping top ECPs dispel myths and transition patients from older technologies to 1-day silicone hydrogel lenses.
“We now fit about 90 percent of our contact lens patients in daily disposables,” remarks David L. Kading, O.D., who owns the Specialty Eyecare Group with locations in Seattle and Kirkland, Wash. “We are healthcare providers, prescribing what is best for the well-being of our patients. This means being ready to discuss why all contact lenses are not the same, cost and value, and statistics on what drives satisfaction. This approach has changed our practice, bringing about incredible opportunity.”
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1ECP Perceptions of the Benefits of 1-Day Silicone Hydrogels. February 2018. Cello Health Insight. Data on file.
2Barriers to 1-Day Silicone Hydrogel Research. July 2017. Cello Health Insight. Data on file.
3 YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1520 adults who wear contact lenses. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3/26/2018 - 4/3/2018. The survey was carried out online.
4 “Doc, I Think I’m Allergic to These New Lenses.” Contact Lens Spectrum, May 2018.
CooperVision, a unit of The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses. The Company produces a full array of monthly, two-week and daily disposable contact lenses, all featuring advanced materials and optics. CooperVision has a strong heritage of solving the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism and presbyopia; and offers the most complete collection of spherical, toric and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit www.coopervision.com.
About The Cooper Companies
The Cooper Companies, Inc. ("Cooper") is a global medical device company publicly traded on the NYSE (NYSE:COO). Cooper is dedicated to being A Quality of Life CompanyTM with a focus on delivering shareholder value. Cooper operates through two business units, CooperVision and CooperSurgical. CooperVision brings a refreshing perspective on vision care with a commitment to developing a wide range of high-quality products for contact lens wearers and providing focused practitioner support. CooperSurgical is committed to advancing the health of families with its diversified portfolio of products and services focusing on women’s health, fertility and diagnostics. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Cooper has more than 11,000 employees with products sold in over 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.coopercos.com.
Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CooperVision, Inc.
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Heather Kowalczyk, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CooperVision, Inc.
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