On November 9, President Bush signed into law the bill that amends the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to reclassify plano contact lenses as medical devices, not cosmetics.
The FDA approved a label change to the drug Flomax (tamsulosin, Boehringer Ingelheim), an alpha-blocker that is used to treat enlarged prostate. Researchers linked the drug with a complication called intraoperative floppy iris syndrome (IFIS) that occurs during cataract surgery. The label change says that the surgeon should be prepared to make modifications to the surgical technique. (For more, see Comangement Q&A Flomax Fosters Floppy Iris.)
The health minister in the Canadian province of Ontario referred to some optometrists as terrorists, apparently in response to a campaign for better funding for primary vision care. (The governments health insurance program has not increased eye care reimbursement fees in 16 years. And last year, the government altogether removed routine eye exams for most healthy citizens.) The minister has since apologized for his words. Meanwhile, Ontario optometrists continue to lobby for increased reimbursement for eye care services.