The recipients of the student loans are (L-R): Adson Mitochi, Mariam Aliya, Gibson Nkhwekwe, Kettie Lozario, Tambuzai Liyo and Thandiwe Nyirenda.

Essilor and Optometry Giving Sight award student loans in Malawi 

Essilor of America and Optometry Giving Sight have announced the recipients of study loans for students of optometry at Mzuzu University in Malawi, Africa. The loans will cover full tuition and living costs for the five years of the Bachelor of Vision Science, commencing in this academic year. “These loans will ensure that economically disadvantaged students are able to complete their studies and then provide urgently needed vision care services to women, men and children in their local communities,” said  Howard Purcell, OD, senior vice president, Customer Development Group, Essilor of America, in a press statement. Purcell visited the program in November 2015 and was highly impressed with the School of Optometry, which was established in 2009 and has so far produced 35 graduates. There are currently 71 students enrolled in the program.

FDA approves Alcon’s IOL lens 

Alcon has received approval from the FDA for its AcrySof IQ ReSTOR +2.5 Multifocal Toric intraocular lens (IOL) with ACTIVEFOCUS optical design for patients undergoing cataract surgery who choose to address their astigmatism and presbyopia at the same time. The unique optical design of the ACTIVEFOCUS toric lens delivers both crisp, clear distance vision and a range of vision for patients who desire less dependence on glasses. Presbyopic cataract patients with astigmatism have had limited options in the past. With ACTIVEFOCUS toric IOL, in which the central portion is 100% dedicated to distance vision, Alcon extends its platform to a broader population.

Dropless Cataract Surgery Study Published

Dropless Cataract Surgery is a single-use, injectable combination of antibiotic and steroid formulation administered at the end of cataract surgery to essentially eliminate the need for post-surgery eye drops.  A paper published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design provides a retrospective review of data and efficacy of Dropless Cataract Surgery. The findings of the study include: compliance issues are diminished with Dropless compared to standard post-surgical topical drop therapy; cost savings to patients can range from $200 to $600 per cataract procedure; staff time is significantly reduced without callbacks from patients, insurance and pharmacies; and no postoperative endophthalmitis has been reported with Dropless therapy. or 

Prevent Blindness elects five new members to National Board of Directors 

Prevent Blindness announced the election of five new members to its board of directors: Andy Davis, COO of Bouchard Insurance; Charles Garcia, EVP, director of treasury management, Associated Bank, N.A.; Dr. Theodore Gillette, president & CEO, I2, LLC.; Dr. Stephanie Marioneaux, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Eastern Virginia Medical School; and Patrick McDermott, president and chief innovation officer, Transitions Optical. 

LensFerry S offers post-exam online ordering for patients

EyeCare Prime has added an option for online patient enrollment on its LensFerry S subscription service. This enhanced functionality joins the existing in-practice enrollment option. Staff can now enter patients into the system following an on-site exam or appointment, or–with the new feature–enter a patient’s information later then trigger an email to the patient with contact lens product and pricing details. From there, patients can easily confirm their interest and enroll in a matter of seconds. According to the company, this convenient, post-exam digital touchpoint helps eyecare professionals capture even more subscriptions, keeping contact lens sales and revenue within their practice.

VSP’s mobile eyecare clinics rolling out for second year

A pilot partnership between the U.S. Conference of Mayors and VSP Global is being continued for the second year in a row. The two organizations are teaming up to identify five cities which VSP’s mobile eyecare clinics will visit in outreach events where qualifying adults and children will receive no-cost comprehensive eye exams from a local VSP member optometrist and prescription eyewear if needed. More than 45 million households in the U.S. don’t have access to vision insurance. Without glasses, adults might have a harder time filling out job applications, performing in the workplace, and other everyday tasks. Healthy vision is essential to  children’s ability to learn and achieve their academic potential as well as to play sports and other activities. “We witnessed the impact we were able to have in partnership with VSP and local VSP member optometrists in communities in need and are excited to be able to continue to fulfill that civic duty while making a difference in people’s lives,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director, U. S. Conference of Mayors. 

Tangible Science announces first licensing partners and laboratories

The Tangible Hydra-PEG coating is designed to reduce discomfort and has been shown to improve wettability, increase surface water retention and lubricity and minimize deposits on lenses. Authorized U.S. lab partners include AccuLens, Advanced Vision Technology, Art Optical, Boston Foundation for Sight, GP Specialists, Metro-Optics, TruForm Optics and X-Cel Specialty Contacts. Contamac is a global licensing partner and offers Tangible Hydra-PEG on its optimum gas permeable lenses. SynergEyes is also a global licensing partner and offers the coating on its Duette hybrid lens materials.

Allergan partners with prevent blindness

As part of its recently launched “See America” initiative, Allergan is working with Prevent Blindness to sponsor vision screening events across the country to help provide adults with access to quality vision care. As well as learning about the leading causes of preventable blindness and vision loss, attendees will receive a free Prevent Blindness certified vision screening, referral to professional eyecare and financial assistance as needed.


CooperVision has become the first major contact lens manufacturer to join The Vision Council.

The Envision Broadcast Network merged with Rocking M Media, LLC. The merger will grow and expand employment opportunities in the radio industry for people who are blind or visually impaired.

The FDA has exempted optical lenses from its Unique Device Identifier regulations.
Imprimis Pharmaceuticals acquired license to Klarity, a patented ophthalmic topical solution for patients with dry eye.

FDA approved Lucentis from Genentech for monthly treatment of all forms of diabetic retinopathy.


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