HumanaVision Vision Care Plan (VCP) announced it is adding “five of the top retail vision providers in the country”—LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, and JCPenney Optical—to its network. “Vision plan members will be able to choose from HumanaVision VCP’s strong base of independent vision-care providers or select a retail optical provider,” the company said in a press release. “The expanded network will give Humana’s members greater choices regarding when and where they can manage their eye care needs while also maintaining predictable pricing for eyeglasses and contact lenses.” The expanded network will be available to HumanaVision VCP members starting in the second quarter of 2011.

Novartis AG and Nestlé S.A. have completed the purchase and sale of approximately 156 million shares of Alcon, Inc. for $28.3 billion in cash. Novartis is now Alcon’s majority shareholder and controls approximately 77% of Alcon’s outstanding shares. (The transaction does not affect the remaining 23% of Alcon’s shares that trade publicly on the New York Stock Exchange.) The transaction was finalized after an April 2008 agreement between Nestlé and Novartis.

The Food and Drug Administration has granted Priority Review status to Alimera Sciences’ New Drug Application (NDA) for Iluvien (fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal insert), an investigational, sustained drug delivery system that releases sub-microgram levels of fluocinolone acetonide for the treatment of diabetic macular edema.