Candid conversations between Optometric Office’s Eric L. Bran, OD, and leading optical executives about their product strategies.
Bob Ferrigno joined CooperVision, Inc., as its President, North America, on January 31, 2014. Over the next 11 months, Bob””who formerly spent 32 years at Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD)””oversaw the completion of CooperVision’s acquisition of Sauflon Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and helped launch the EyeCare Primeâ„¢ Premier Program.
Eric L. Bran: How has the EyeCare Prime Premier Program succeeded in providing customized integrated marketing approaches for practices?
Bob Ferrigno: Since its launch last spring, we’ve seen continuous growth. The number of practices that have subscribed has surpassed our expectations. The program provides each practice with a personal marketing consultant who collaborates with the practitioner to develop customized marketing plans. The consultant then executes the plan through social media, the Internet, and customer relationship marketing, taking the burden off of independent ECPs and setting them up to achieve their marketing goals and build their practice’s visibility.
Eric: How have you approached having the market’s largest range of daily disposable lens options?
Bob: The Sauflon acquisition required a lot of focus and time to ensure a seamless integration. That process is now mostly behind us in the U.S., but it’s still underway globally. CooperVision’s approach has always been to offer the broadest portfolio of CLs in the marketplace. The addition of clariti‘ 1 day enables us to deliver new manufacturing technologies in the daily disposable modality.
Eric: What are your forecasts for growth for the clariti 1 day family of lenses?
Bob: We expect significant growth. The primary reason we acquired Sauflon was because of clariti 1 day and the daily disposable market opportunity that exists.
We believe the adoption of silicone hydrogel daily disposables will continue to rise, and we’re now in a unique position with our daily disposable portfolio””one that’s not only unprecedented for us, but for the industry. Our goal is to accelerate patient adoption of these lenses with a multi-tiered portfolio, which includes clariti 1 day, as well as MyDayâ„¢, a lens we plan to bring to the U.S. later in 2015.
Eric: How does LensFerryâ„¢ help independent ECPs?
Bob: LensFerryâ„¢ is just one component of WebSystem3’s suite of services. The suite consists of WebSystem3, EyeCare Prime Premier, and LensFerry, all of which are tools that help meet the needs of independent ECPs.
The newest, LensFerry, is an e-commerce solution that allows wearers to quickly and conveniently order replacement CLs from any manufacturer, not just CooperVision, via mobile devices, tablets, or computers, with fast shipment directly to their homes. Prescribing practices receive sales revenue as if the lenses were ordered in-office, and all LensFerry communications are customized with the practice’s name and logo.
Eric: The industry’s always working on getting more people to wear CLs and preventing them from dropping out of lens wear. How are you approaching these challenges?
Bob: CooperVision approaches this challenge through innovation in materials””making CLs more comfortable, easier to handle, and more economical. All of these things will help grow the category. Daily disposable lenses can also contribute to increased adoption, as they’re the healthiest modality and offer a convenience factor that’s attractive to more patients.
The newer materials available today in multifocal lenses make them more comfortable and provide better visual acuity, and we need to better educate practitioners about them. If a practitioner knows how to fit multifocal lenses and is comfortable doing so, it also provides a significant practice-building opportunity for them””to keep wearers in CLs longer. There’s still work to be done in reducing the dropout rate, but we’re moving in the right direction.