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Court Upholds Ruling Preventing U.S. Sale of B&L's PureVision CLs
ATLANTA, GA., Feb. 13, 2003 - Yesterday the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a June 26, 2002, U.S. district court ruling that Bausch & Lomb's Purevision contact lenses infringe a patent held by CIBA Vision. The appeals-court ruling is expected to mean B&L cannot resume manufacture or sale of PureVision CLs in the U.S. at least until 2005, when the patent expires. CIBA currently has other litigation pending against B&L for infringement of four U.S. patents pertaining to its Focus Night & Day technology, and has also initiated litigation against B&L in several other countries.
B&L PureVision CLs Available to U.S. Investigators as Manufacturing Shifts to Ireland
ROCHESTER, N.Y., Dec.  6, 2002 - A court ruling ordering Bausch & Lomb to stop PureVision contact-lens production and sales in the U.S. was amended last week to allow B&L to provide the CLs to clinical investigators and participants involved in the company's FDA-required PureVision post-approval study, which began in March. The study is following more than 5,000 participants who wear PureVision CLs for up to 30 consecutive days and nights for a year; more than 100 ECPs in the U.S. are taking part in the study.
B&L recently completed the transfer of manufacturing and shipping PureVision lenses to its facility in Waterford, Ireland--also a result of the ruling, which B&L is appealing. The company is now making and shipping PureVision CLs from Waterford to markets outside the U.S.
1-800 Contacts to Acquire Lens Express, Lens 1st
DRAPER, Utah, Dec.  6, 2002 - Internet/telephone contact-lens retailer 1-800 Contacts has signed a letter of intent with Southfield, Mich.-based Camelot Ventures to acquire Lens Express and Lens 1st, two mail-order CL retailers. The acquisition, expected to close by January 31, gives Camelot Ventures 900,000 shares of 1-800 Contacts' stock, $6.5 million cash, and assumption of about $4.8 million of Camelot's current debt. 1-800 Contacts expects the acquisition to contribute $30 million to $35 million to its combined revenues and $6 million to $7 million in operating income in the 12 months following the closing.
VISTAKON® Announced an Agreement with 1-800 CONTACTS
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec.  2, 2002 - VISTAKON®, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., today announced an exclusive agreement with 1-800 CONTACTS that requires prescription verification with prescribing Eye Care Professionals to prevent expired or invalid ACUVUE Brand Contact Lens prescriptions from being filled.
The terms of the VISTAKON® and 1-800 CONTACTS agreement require consumers to submit valid prescriptions prior to any shipment being made. If a prescription is not available or is expired, 1-800 CONTACTS has agreed to contact the patient's Eye Care Professional to approve or deny a shipment of ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses for that patient. The Eye Care Professional will have the option of receiving this request by fax. If the prescription is erroneous or out of date and the Eye Care Professional responds accordingly, the order will be cancelled and the lenses not shipped. Similarly, the Eye Care Professional will have an opportunity to advise 1-800 CONTACTS of the expiration date of any valid prescription so that 1-800 CONTACTS can record and adhere to the proper expiration date.
The agreement provides Eye Care Professionals with eight business hours to respond to 1-800 CONTACTS. If Eye Care Professionals do not respond within the designated timeframe, 1-800 CONTACTS will ship the order, but even then, will be required to flag the order for future verification. In such a case, the patient will be informed that they should return to the Eye Care Professional for a valid prescription. If a valid Eye Care Professional cannot be matched to the order, it will not be shipped, and the patient will be informed of the order's cancellation.
To help ensure that expired prescriptions are not redeemed for ACUVUE® products, the agreement, which will take effect once 1-800 CONTACTS' modified prescription verification system is operational and validated by VISTAKON®, also requires that 1-800 CONTACTS keep detailed records of ACUVUE® prescription expiration dates.
The agreement gives Eye Care Professionals who are notified about a 1-800 CONTACTS order from a patient with an expired or otherwise invalid prescription another opportunity to contact that patient directly, and as necessary, reinforce the importance of regular eye exams.
"VISTAKON® has never sold a contact lens directly to 1-800 CONTACTS, but the reality is that they and other mail order channels do obtain these and all competitor lenses-including lenses from companies claiming to manufacture 'doctor-only' contact lenses-through the prevalence of gray markets and sell them without the benefit of rules that have applied to other channels," said Keefer. "We believe that this agreement goes a long way to both assure patients' eye health, and create a more level playing field. When patients receive lenses based on a valid prescription, everyone wins."
The key to making this new exclusive agreement work for all parties is that the Eye Care Professionals always respond to the 1-800 CONTACTS inquiry. There are four key reasons why this benefits the Eye Care Professional:
The Eye Care Professional puts him/her self in charge of the patients' ACUVUE® prescription;
Expired prescriptions will not be filled;
1-800 CONTACTS will record and adhere to the proper prescription expiration date. This will help ensure the patient has a future eye exam; and
Eye Care Professionals will be able to monitor their patients' eye health regularly.

 

 

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