PLEASANTON, Calif., April 13, 2015 — To help the eye care industry understand how it can better serve patients with extreme range refractive errors, CooperVision, Inc. recently convened a roundtable with some of the industry’s most insightful voices on fitting extended range lenses, discussing new opportunities for practices and wearers alike.
“I don’t think anyone would argue that fitting contact lenses to patients with high refractive errors can be very rewarding for both patients and ECPs,” said Gary Orsborn, Vice President of Global Professional & Clinical Affairs at CooperVision, who served as moderator of the panel. “For eye care practitioners around the world, managing these patients presents opportunities—not only for increased profitability, but also the professional esteem that it brings to their practices. But it can also be very challenging.”
The panel featured six optometrists who are in private practice in the United States: Melissa Barnett, OD, from Davis, Calif.; Ken Daniels, OD, from Philadelphia; Barry Eiden, OD, from Chicago; David Geffen, OD, from La Jolla, Calif.; Kerry Giedd, OD, from Orlando, Fl.; and Jason Ortman, OD, from Denver. The discussion focused on their experiences with patients with extreme range refractive errors, fitting extended range contact lenses, and the benefits to their practices.
Key learnings from the panel included:
- Extended range contact lenses present a unique practice-building opportunity for independent eye care practitioners. These lenses, such as Biofinity® XR, provide the practitioner with an additional tool for their toolbox, enabling them to fit patients that have never been able to wear contact lenses before. The panelists found that successfully fitting patients with high refractive errors with contact lenses led to increased loyalty and referrals to their practices.
“Each and every one of us has said that in our practices, Biofinity® XR is a practice-building lens,” said Dr. Barnett. “These are not simple patients that we are dealing with. Many have been to practitioners who don’t know what to do with prescriptions as extreme as theirs, and they have been told they can’t wear contact lenses. If you can find a successful contact lens for them, they are happy and you have a patient for life.”
- Patients with extreme range refractive errors benefit from an upgrade to new silicone hydrogel material. Whether it’s a young woman with a +8.00D -4.25D X170 spectacle refraction wanting to play sports, a -19.00D RGP wearer hoping to meet the standards for a driving test, or a +11.00D teen worried about how she looks to her friends, all share a common desire. They want to benefit from vision correction options that so many others take for granted, including the health advantages of the silicone hydrogel material.
“Biofinity® XR lenses bring new benefits to patients within an extreme range of refractive errors,” said Dr. Giedd. “The convenience of a more frequently replaced lens and the greater oxygen transmissiblity of a silicone hydrogel, which decreases corneal neovascularization and promotes better overall long-term corneal health, fill a tremendous need in my practice. I think there is huge opportunity to make these patients’ lives better in more breathable and disposable lenses.”
- There is a significant need in the industry for more XR toric lenses. According to the panelists, many of the patients they see with high refractive error also have astigmatism. Currently, custom soft toric lenses, such as Proclear toric XR, and gas permeable lenses are the only options for these patients. Having an additional tool in silicone hydrogel to help would be beneficial to both patients and practitioners. CooperVision has plans to introduce Biofinity XR toric later this year.
“By taking an industry-leading line like Biofinity and expanding it to include XR toric, CooperVision is building on its strength of providing specialty lenses that we all want in our practices,” said Dr. Eiden. “When you have a toric lens with a simple fit and the stability that we demand—and the patient demands—the result is excellent acuity in a comfortable lens. That’s what makes Biofinity XR toric so exciting.”
- How best to manage patients with high refractive error. Patients with extreme range refractive errors recognize that they have unusual prescriptions, said the panelists. They don’t need to be treated differently, but these patients will require extra work to get them into contact lenses that work well for them.
“It’s important to set realistic expectations for patients with high refractive error,” said Dr. Geffen. “They can’t compare themselves to their -1.00D friends who walk in and out of their practitioners’ offices with lenses the first day and paid less. These patients require more expertise, and more work on the part of the doctor. At the end of the day, patients look for providers that are going to help them, and that’s our goal.”
This discussion was the second roundtable that CooperVision has organized on the topic of patients with high refractive errors and extended range lenses. The first, held in the U.K. at BCLA last June, featured European optometrists. CooperVision will continue to explore additional opportunities to bring together optometrists for meaningful discussions in 2015.
For more information about CooperVision’s contact lenses for patients with high refractive error, visit www.coopervision.com.
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CooperVision, a unit of The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses and related products and services. 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 Euronext (NYSE:COO). Cooper is dedicated to being A Quality of Life Company™ 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 crafting a wide range of high-quality products for contact lens wearers and providing focused practitioner support. CooperSurgical focuses on supplying women's health clinicians with market-leading products and treatment options to improve the delivery of healthcare to women. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Cooper has approximately 8,000 employees with products sold in over 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.coopercos.com.