Friday, July 24, 2015

Athem Plans to Aquire Cigna

"Anthem (ANTM), a Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurer, said it would buy all of Cigna's (CI)shares in a cash and stock transaction," according to a CNN Money post. "The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2016, if it passes state regulatory approvals and other requirements. The merged insurer would cover 53 million members." Read more.

Vinalize Makes Sunglasses for Mick Fleetwood from the Fleetwood Mac Rumours Album

"Earlier this year Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac came across Vinylize frames," starts the Midwest Lens post. "He contacted them and requested a customized pair. Vinylize modified the Tosh to fit his nose and gold plated all the stainless steel hardware. The frame is made from the Fleetwood Mac Rumours album which has sold over 40 million copies." Read more.

Bono and Revo to Raise Millions to Improve Sight for the Impoverished

"Bono, who has had problems with his own vision, is partnering with a company to provide better eye care to the underprivileged," reports the News Tribune. "The 'Buy Vision, Give Sight' campaign with eyewear brand Revo is designed to raise $10 million for screening, eyeglasses and other assistance to the impoverished. Revo will donate $10 for each pair of eyeglasses it sells, and the U2 frontman will introduce his own line of Revo sunglasses, which he has been wearing on U2's sold-out tour, in the fall. He called sight a 'human right.'" Read more.

Study Finds Where in the Brain the Images from Two Eyes Unite

Science Daily reports that by "using prisms and an advanced brain scanner, researchers have found the point in the human brain -- very early in image processing in the visual cortex -- in which the transformation to a cyclopean view of the world takes place." In other words, where the brain unites the images from both eyes. Read more.

Eye Drops Could Replace Cataract Surgery

"Eye drops that could replace cataract operations are being developed by doctors," proclaims a post in the (UK) Daily Mail. "Inexpensive to make and easy to administer, the twice-a-day drops could be in widespread use in as little as five years. In tests, they dissolved the clumps of protein that cloud the vision of more than half of pensioners." Read more.

New Kids Eyewear from Mykita

"Mykita First marks the long-awaited debut of a children’s eyewear collection by Mykita," reports Midwest Lens. "Carrying on the distinctive Mykita design aesthetic, First introduces a range of seven unisex models: four optical and three sunglass frames. Specifically designed for children aged eight and older, the frames are sturdy yet ultimately light. All glasses are sealed with a rubber coating, giving the entire frame a robust and scratch-resistant surface. Selected models feature bright temple tips that simply add to the fun. Mykita First sunglasses are fitted with tinted Zeiss lenses that provide maximum glare control, plus 100% protection against UV rays." Read more.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Expands Facility in Jacksonville

"In a visit to the Jacksonville facility today, [Florida] Gov. Rick Scott announced that Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. will expand its contact lens manufacturing plant, touting the 100 new jobs it would create. The Vistakon plant, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision plan, will also add a capital investment of $301 million," according to the Jacksonville Business Journal. "The new manufacturing space will include five new production lines, a tank farm to support new product launches, a 3D printing center and a site for medical device laboratory test method development, expanding its capabilities in the biotech and life sciences sector." Read more.

Bascom Palmer Ranked Best in Ophthalmology

For the 12th consecutive year — and the 14th time overall — Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at UHealth – the University of Miami Health System has been ranked the nation’s best in ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015-2016 Best Hospitals edition. Every year since the rankings began 25 years ago, Bascom Palmer has been ranked either first or second in the country. Read more.

Davis Vision and Visionworks Launch Back-to-School Program

Visionworks and Davis Vision are launching ‘Let’s Go See,’ a cause marketing initiative focused on raising awareness about the importance of children receiving an annual eye exam. Reports from The Center for Health in Schools show that about 60% of students classified as problem learners have some sort of undetected visual problem. Read more.

Autofocus Contact Lenses Worth Billions

Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez has told the Financial Times that the market for an "Autofocus" contact lens could be worth, "anywhere between $10 billion and $50 billion in the next ten years." The Financial Times went on to say; "While Google's efforts building a smart lens with a built-in wireless chip and glucose sensor have grabbed most headlines so far, the really juicy opportunity is in corrective eyewear. If the company can build a contact lens that offers its wearer 'autofocus' powers similar to those found in digital cameras for bringing scenes into tight focus, it can address a range of eye ailments and failings with a single solution, rather than requiring the kinds of fixed prescriptions that we use now, and that are often compromises rather than perfect solutions." For the first time, EPGL is revealing specifically that it has developed technology for an "Autofocus" contact lens with CooperVision, Inc. Read more.

Prevent Blindness Offers Assistance to Parents and Educators Regarding Healthy Eyesight for Children

Healthy eyesight can help improve a child’s chance at success in the classroom, so Prevent Blindness is asking parents to make an appointment for an eye exam for their children. In line, the association declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness month. The non-profit group has a variety of resources to help put children on the path to a lifetime of healthy vision:
  • PreventBlindness.org includes free information on a variety of children’s eye health topics including amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), UV-protection and sports safety.
  • Through its National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health (NCCVEH), PB offers the online School Requirements for Children's Visionmap that provides information about state legislation for vision screening and/or mandated eye exams
  • The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) mandates that all health insurance include a pediatric vision benefit. In most states, that includes one comprehensive eye exam and one pair of eyeglasses. For more information, Prevent Blindness offers the fact sheet in English or Spanish, “The Affordable Care Act and Your Child's Eyes.”
  • Prevent Blindness partners with programs such as VSP’s “Sight for Students,” “OneSight” from Luxottica, and “Let’s Go See” from Visionworks and Davis Vision, that provide free eye exams and glasses to children who qualify.
  • For educators, Prevent Blindness offers the Star Pupils Eye Health and Safety Curriculum for grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. The program, which is available free for download upon request, provides teachers with interactive materials that help students learn the importance of sight, components of the eye and how we see, and how to identify objects and situations that can be dangerous to eyes. The program meets National Health, National Science and National Physical Education standards and includes lesson plans with presentation PowerPoints and teacher guides, in-class activities and take-home worksheets.
For more information on children’s eye health and safety, the NCCVEH, eye care assistance programs, or the Star Pupils Eye Health and Safety Curriculum, please call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020.

Aspirin's Benefits Outweigh AMD Risks, Says Study

"Patients can continue to take aspirin as recommended by their primary care physicians without fear of worsening their macular degeneration, researchers say," reports Medscape. "'Taking patients off aspirin can cause premature morbidity and mortality," said Kent Small, MD, from Los Angeles, California. He presented a meta-analysis o' aspirin, cardiovascular disease, and age-related macular degeneration here at the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) 2015 Annual Meeting. Dr Small explained that he got interested in the topic when he realized that his patients were reacting to reports in the media of studies linking macular degeneration to aspirin use." Read more.

New Mercedes-Benz Eyewear from Rodenstock

"When you think Mercedes-Benz, you probably think of luxury vehicles. What you probably don’t think of are glasses. However, working with German eyewear specialist Rodenstock, Mercedes-Benz has crafted a line of sunglasses and corrective lenses." That's the word from The News Wheel. "According to a Mercedes-Benz press release, the upcoming Autumn/Winter line will feature newly developed materials and shapes. Wood-effect glasses will be introduced in the next wave of Mercedes frames. The glasses integrate a wood-acetate rim with stainless steel arms. The acetate frame ensures that moisture and temperatures do not damage the glasses." Read more.

New Eyewear from Converse Kids

"Designed for the young rebellious mind, the new Converse Kids collection pushes boundaries and provides a blank canvas for creativity. Combining high quality and reliability, the collection has the on-trend tastes and freedom of personal expression that today’s younger generation demands," according to Midwest Lens. "The new Converse Kids collection celebrates the spontaneity of youth with easy-to-wear shapes, energetic colors and irreverent designs. Showcasing premium craftsmanship, each frame is also handmade, and fastened with authentic riveted five to eight barrel hinges. Recently introduced in the Converse All Star adult line, the new Twist ‘N’ Turn Temples for Converse Kids are offered in the K020 style for boys and in the K022 style for girls. Twist ‘N’ Turn Temples can be turned around, revealing a new, fun color that you can show off. A new opportunity for constant self-expression among Converse aficionados, the Twist ‘N’ Turn Temples are relevant in an age where your personal style varies from day-to-day and customization is a must. Young consumers can now change their eyewear on a whim, uniquely making it ‘your own.’" Read more.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Johnson & Johnson Struggles with Vision Care

"Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. is one of Jacksonville’s biggest companies, with about 2,000 local employees and annual sales of nearly $3 billion," notes the Jacksonville Daily Record. "But the Jacksonville-based contact lens maker usually registers just a blip on Johnson & Johnson’s quarterly earnings report. However, when the health products giant reported second-quarter earnings last week, a Johnson & Johnson executive took time to discuss Vision Care’s outlook in great detail after several quarters of declining sales. The company continues to lead the global market with its Acuvue brand of contact lenses, but sales in the second quarter dropped by 8.6 percent to $646 million, continuing a downward trend. That was partly due to currency impacts on international sales, but U.S. sales fell 7.3 percent.

“'It’s no secret that we faced capacity and portfolio issues in Vision Care in 2012 and 2013,' Group Worldwide Chairman Sandi Peterson said in Johnson & Johnson’s conference call with analysts last week. 'At the same time, competition intensified and consumer preferences shifted. The market structure has evolved in response, driving increased emphasis on e-commerce and increased price competition between channels,' she said. Because of the market changes, Johnson & Johnson last fall reset its contact lens pricing 'to bring more value to consumers in close partnership with eye care professionals,' Peterson said." Read more.

New Diva Eyewear from Eastern States Eyewear

"Eastern States Eyewear is proud to announce the release of seven new optical styles in its Diva Eyewear collection," reports Midwest Lens. "Five metals and two acetates comprise these new creations. ...Each new Diva features highly detailed work meticulously augmented with Austrian Swarovski Crystals cut in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Within the metal styles, hand painted finishes often complement a variety of subtle colorations. Examples include a brown leopard print, blue, violet, and green which coat a mix of gold and silver bases. Acetate styles use a mix of exotic floral and laminate colors." Read more.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Utah State Attorneys Defend State's Position on UPP of Contact Lenses

"Utah attorneys defending a hotly contested law banning minimum prices for contact lenses argued this week that the state has the right to regulate industry price-fixing even if the products are sold to customers elsewhere," starts the Associated Press post in the San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Any sales by Utah-based retailers are in-state transactions, no matter where the contacts are shipped, the Utah Attorney General's Office said in court documents filed Thursday. State attorneys specifically cite Utah-based 1-800 Contacts, one of the country's largest discount retailers, in their defense of the law.

"Three of the nation's biggest contact-lens manufacturers sued to block the law they say violates interstate commerce rules. Alcon, Johnson & Johnson and Bausch & Lomb argue it was written to help 1-800 Contacts in a bitter pricing war. The three manufacturers sued to block the law and won a temporary injunction, but a federal appeals court allowed the law to go into effect in June.

"The two sides are set to argue before the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in August." Read more.

Artist Creates Eyewear from E-Waste

"If you’re looking to step your glasses game up to epic new levels this season, Kenya-based artist Cyrus Kabiru is the man to turn to. The Nairobi sculpture artist is known for his ongoing collection of C-Stunners eyewear, upcycled glasses that turn computer waste into wearable art." That's the word from Styleite. Read more.

Kering Launches Eyewear Line

"Kering Eyewear was officially launched on June 30, 2015, in the exquisite setting of Palazzo Grassi in Venice where the ‘Collezione Uno’, including nine of the Group’s brands in Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle, was unveiled," according to Midwest Lens. "The new entity, which is part of the Kering Group, was established in 2014 with the purpose of creating a dedicated eyewear company pooling expertise in design, marketing, production and distribution for the majority of the Group’s brands and becoming the world leader in luxury and high-end Eyewear. The goal of Kering Eyewear is to integrate one of the fastest growing categories within accessories in order to better support the expansion of the Group’s brands in the Eyewear sector, helping them to exploit their full potential. The eyewear collections are now designed and developed in-house and in collaboration with the creative teams of the Kering brands, and with the same attention to craftsmanship and detail as in all other product categories." Read more.

New Skechers Eyewear from Marcolin

"Marcolin USA presents the Skechers Eyewear 2015 Kids collection, which consists of ten new ophthalmic styles, features a youthful blend of refreshing and sporty accents, infused with the DNA of the Skechers brand," reports Midwest Lens. "The collection is perfect for today’s boys and girls driven by brand awareness, the latest trends and in search of bling and fun color combinations." Read more.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Baby Sees Parents for First Time

"It's an emotion often only shared between optometrist and patient—that thrill of seeing clearly for the very first time. But in baby Piper's case, her first moment of clarity was experienced millions of times," according to an American Optometric Association (AOA). "Thirty million times to be exact. Members can reach out and underscore the importance of infant and early childhood eye exams. Picked up by a CNN Headline News segment on Monday, July 13, the video of 10-month-old Piper's amazed reaction to seeing her parents clearly for the first time had already gone positively viral, taking the message of InfantSEE® and the importance of children's eye exams along with it." Read more. You can see the video at station NWA's home page.

Lily-Rose Depp New Ambassador for Chanel

"In 2015 Lily-Rose Depp attended Chanel runway shows, then modeled in Chanel runway shows, landed her first editorial spread and is starring in her first major film. And as if that wasn’t enough to solidify her title as the most impressive 16-year-old on the planet, she just landed her very first Chanel ad campaign, joining the brand as their latest ambassador," gushes People Style Watch. "And (no surprise) she’s already a total pro. For her first role for the house, Depp’s fronting the Pearl eyewear collection, which includes staring in gorgeous editorial photos (shot by the brand’s creative director, Karl Lagerfeld) and an accompanying video (be advised: her Blue Steel is exceptionally fierce). She wears an adorable metallic-finished scalloped button-down and a pair of the pearl-adorned pink round-frame sunnies." Read more.

New Ted Baker Eyewear from Tura

"Tura Inc., the inventor of fashion eyewear in 1938, debuts its Universal Fit Collection from the quintessentially British Ted Baker line, featuring comfort models for Asian women and men customized to their facial structures," according to Midwest Lens. "The eight subtly branded frames, four women’s and four men’s, are made from rich, laminated acetate material. The designs include structured plastic bridges with deeper nose pads. Additionally, two models are offered with adjustable nose pads. A four base curve frame front, proper screw-to-screw width and bowed temples make these models a requirement in any office that serves the Asian community. Colors have been specially developed to compliment the skin tones of the targeted demographic. These special fit features are offered with Ted Baker design and branding." Read more.

New Eyewear from Badgley Mischka

"Feminine style and glamour echo the fluid drapery and beading directly from the runway," notes Midwest Lens. "Badgley Mischka’s exquisite attention to detail is directly translated through the latest eyewear, while featuring highest quality products and design elements." Read more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gwen Stefani Starts Eyewear Line with Tura

"Gwen Stefani is a woman of many talents (obvi), so for her next venture, she's diving into eyewear," writes the Hollywood Reporter. "No stranger to the design world, the musician will launch a new line of optical eyewear and sunglasses for both her L.A.M.B. and GX by Gwen Stefani brands with Tura Inc., the same designers that partnered with Power Stylist Kate Young for her collection." Read more.

De Rigo Vision Signs License Agreement with Nina Ricci and Trussardi

De Rigo Vision and Nina Ricci have signed a licence agreement for the design, production and worldwide distribution of the Nina Ricci-branded optical and sun collection. The De Rigo agreement will become effective in September 2015 with the launch of the first Nina Ricci collection. The distribution will be reserved to the best optical stores and department stores in the world and to Nina Ricci boutiques. Read more.

Women's Wear Daily has reported the De Rigo also signed an agreement with Trussardi.

New Eyewear from Kenneth Cole

"The Kenneth Cole Summer 2015 eyewear collection delivers a wide range of versatile and sophisticated shapes and sizes inspired by the urban lifestyle of the brand," says Midwest Lens. "The collection is stylish, creative and effortless; it is classic yet modern. Shades of translucent colors and rich metal hardware are key trends explored throughout the collection. The tones range from milky color palettes to gradient colorations. The theme of the season’s designs captures the brand’s DNA of day-to-night dressing for real city living." Read more.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

In Utah, Attorneys Getting Ready to Throw Down about State's Anti-UPP Law

The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported that "an appeals court has given Utah state attorneys more time to respond in a lawsuit over a hotly contested law banning minimum prices for contact lenses that could have wide-ranging effects on the $4 billion industry." Read more.

Valeant Buys Unilens for $28 Million

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International will own Unilens Vision by Sept. 1, according to an article in the Tampa Time. The Canadian company will pay $28 million for the Lago-based Valeant. Read more.