FORT WORTH, Texas—In an effort to support eyecare professionals and enhance patient outcomes, Alcon
said this week that in 2018 it will increase support of consumer education and awareness campaigns that emphasize “the importance of comprehensive eyecare and healthy contact lens options.” In addition, Alcon said it will “more than double” peer-to-peer hands-on training at its Alcon Experience Center for its multifocal contact lens portfolio. “We understand that the eyecare marketplace is becoming increasingly complex due to rapidly evolving patient and practice needs, and know that patients are the heart of your practice,” Eric Bruno, general manager of U.S. vision care at Alcon, said in a note emailed to ECPs this week.
“Alcon is, and will continue to be, your partner—helping to make sense of the changing marketplace while working with you to retain and grow patient relationships,”Bruno added. Alcon is a division of Novartis
The education and awareness efforts are, in part, designed to address the growing number of presbyope patients in the U.S., which by 2020 is expected to result in a ratio of one optometrist for every 1,800 presbyopes, according to Alcon. Yet, only a small percentage of ODs (13 percent) are fitting the majority of multifocal contact lenses, the email message noted.
Bruno also noted that Alcon’s top priority is “always the eye health of your patients” and that it will support “technologies and channels” that enable Alcon products to get to consumers without compromising patient care. “To that end, we have been taking aggressive and ongoing actions against online contact lens sellers and retailers who are misrepresenting our brands and/or violating the law,” he added.
Alcon’s efforts in this area include collaborating with online marketplace websites that has led to the removal of more than 265,000 listings posted by sellers “improperly offering for sale contact lenses,” Bruno said. He noted, also, that Alcon expects to introduce over the coming months “additional tools, resources and strategic partnerships so that together we can continue to inform and inspire proactive eyecare.”