The AOA clarified its position on stand-alone vision plans. “We’re not against stand-alone vision plans,” said AOA President Randy Brooks, O.D., during an October 27 teleconference. The same day, AOA and VSP issued a joint statement that said that the organizations have agreed to work together to support optometry-friendly health care legislation. “Both VSP and AOA recognize the importance of including provider non-discrimination provisions that will safeguard patient access to optometric care,” the statement said. This follows a joint letter from the AOA and American Academy of Opthalmology that said “stand-alone vision plan companies aim to turn back the clock” by separating vision health benefits from medical coverage.
Alden Optical Laboratories, manufacturers of custom made-to-order soft and GP contact lenses, announced that Tom Shone has joined the company as president. Mr. Shone will lead all commercial and strategic development.
Several eye care companies (though not all) have announced improved third quarter 2009 net earnings:
• Allergan posted net earnings of $179 million in the third quarter 2009, compared to $166 million in the third quarter 2008 (7.8% gain).
• ISTA Pharmaceuticals posted net earnings of $32 million in the third quarter 2009, compared to $21.7 million in the third quarter 2008 (47% gain).
• Abbott Laboratories had net earnings of $1,480 million in the third quarter 2009, compared to $1,085 million in the third quarter 2008 (36.5% gain).