by Kelly Waterhouse

The Canadian contact lens market continues to offer both consumer and eyecare professionals (ECPs) a variety of options that have made the comfort and ease of contact lens a safe, convenient alternative for eye wear. It’s a competitive industry focused on leading edge technology and product versatility catering to an evolving consumer demographic. We talk to three industry leaders about how they’ve got their sights set on 2014.

The view from Acuvue

“The contact lens category is constantly evolving and manufacturers continue to work toward meeting patient expectations in these and other areas,” said Jacqueline Henderson, General Manager of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Canada. “Wearers are highly motivated to stay in contact lenses, so next generation contact lens materials must bring forward new standards of vision, comfort, health and user experience.”

Henderson notes that nearly a decade after its introduction, the ACUVUE® OASYS® brand continues to be one of the most widely prescribed contact lenses on the market.

“ACUVUE® OASYS HYDRACLEAR PLUS are a great option for contact lens wearers when their eyes feel tired and dry in these challenging environments. Additionally, ACUVUE® OASYS® offer the highest level of UV- blocking available in a contact lens,” Henderson said, adding that in clinical studies, the brand is preferred in wearer comfort.

Henderson said studies have demonstrated that contact lenses such as 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST® for ASTIGMATISM and ACUVUE® OASYS® for ASTIGMATISM, which both utilize BLINK STABILIZED Design, have a number of advantages over other traditional soft toric contact lens designs in reducing variable vision and blur that often occur.

Brand longevity has been key to Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, having introduced the first disposable soft contact lens, and Henderson looks forward to what’s ahead.

“We continue to push the limits of material science and optical design and will continue to provide doctors with innovative products that satisfy the vision, comfort and eye health needs of patients,” she said.

CooperVision focuses beyond the sphere

“Today’s consumers are managing more complexity than ever before—new communication tools, continuously evolving professional demands … They are looking for simple solutions as they attempt to absorb all these changes,” says Elliot Knobovitch, CooperVision’s Director of Marketing, Canada. “The impact of cell phones, tablets, and computers on consumers’ vision requires that CooperVision support ECPs to effectively communicate how our contact lenses can help address those changing demands.”

Knobovitch points to the success of CooperVison’s flagship brand, Biofinity, recently enhanced by the launch of the Biofinity ® XR lens brand, creating the widest available sphere power range of silicone hydrogel contact lenses.

“The extension significantly expands Biofinity’s range of sphere powers, allowing practitioners to confidently fit a greater number of monthly replacement lens patients in a silicone hydrogel lens,” Knobovitch explains. “This includes wearers with significant hyperopia or myopia currently using other lens brands or spectacles.”

He adds, “Biofinity XR lenses will be available in powers from +8.50 to +15.00 (0.50 steps) and -12.50 to -20.00 (0.50 steps). The existing Biofinity line will continue to be available in +8.00 to -12.00 powers. We hope to be launching a Toric version by year end.”
The new trend toward daily
disposable contact lenses offers another option to ECPs and consumers alike, and Knobovitch believes this trend will drive his industry. ®
“Proclear 1 Day Multifocal provides ECPs a daily disposable multifocal lens that’s predictable, reliable and uses a simple, easy-to- fit system. Designed with a Single Power Profile, the lens preserves distance vision while limiting visual compromise,” Knobovitch explains.
“As the population continues to skew older, and the ECP fitting habits shift more towards daily disposable lenses, Proclear ® 1 day Multifocal helps address two converging and rapidly growing market needs,” Knobovitch said.

He confirms that looking forward, CooperVison plans to “expand the breadth of our portfolio to meet a broader range of patient types.”

Seeing things clearly with Clariti

“The market for multifocal contact lenses will continue to grow as a result of demographics,” predicts Rick Leroux, Director of Marketing and Communications for Centennial Optical Limited’s Lens Division. “There are more presbyopes than ever before and many of them want contact lenses that will allow them to see near, far and in-between.”

He credits the 2013 release of the Clariti multifocal lenses, in both monthly replacement and daily disposable modalities for presbyopic patients, as a success for the brand.

“While providing the benefit of high oxygen transmissibility for eye health, silicone is a stiffer material for soft contact lenses than traditional hydrogels, and the material is also hydrophobic in nature,” Leroux said. “So, the challenge is to create softer silicone hydrogel lenses with a lower modulus, a high water content and a surface that attracts and retains water, so that the lenses are comfortable for the full wearing time. Clariti contact lenses provide all of these features and benefits for all-day comfort and ocular health.”

Last year also saw Centennial Optical Limited’s foray into the contact lens solutions business, with the introduction of the All In One Light multipurpose solution.

“We also introduced LOGIC MAX silicone hydrogel contact lenses to Centennial’s LOGIC line of contact lenses in 2013,” Leroux adds.

“We have experienced exceptional results with patient and ECP satisfaction with these new products,” he said, noting that Centennial sells exclusively to ECPs.

“The Clariti 1 Day Multifocal is the first daily disposable silicone hydrogel multifocal contact lens, combining the healthiest lens material with the healthiest wearing modality. This makes it perfect for patients with active lifestyles, especially those who don’t wear contact lenses every day.”

One thing is clear: the contact lens industry is forging ahead with products that provide comfort, ease and leading technology to offer a superior product and a safe alternative to eyewear. For consumers, the choices are as varied as their needs. For ECPs, recommending contact lens options to their patients has never been easier.