Monday, May 15, 2006

Bausch & Lomb announced today they are pulling The Renu with MoitureLoc solution permanently from the market.

According to Reuters Bausch Chief Executive Ronald Zarrella said in a statement the company's probe found "no evidence of product contamination, tampering, counterfeiting or sterility failure."

This move does not address the potential link of the rest of the Renu solution to the Fusarium fungus infection as described by the CDC (The FDA has not come out and said a link exists for the main Renu solution).

- Pete

Please Read My Disclaimer

Friday, May 12, 2006

Eye Doctors tell patients to avoid Bausch & Lomb Solutions

According to Reuters, Piper Jaffrey did a survey of optomotrists and found more than half are recommending patients avoid ALL Bausch & Lomb contact solutions. The latest CDC data show that all of the Renu solutions, not just MoistureLoc seem to coincide with a higher incident of Fusarium Keratitis a rare eye fungal infection.

This story just gets wierder as they found cases in Asia first, then the US and the reported cases in Europe. This does not seem to point to a localized manufacturing or supply problem.

Meanwhile the company can't seem to get their accounting right either...

Pete

Please Read My Disclaimer

Monday, May 08, 2006

ACNielsen Announces Renu Market Share Decline

According to the Wall Street Journal and ACNielsen the market share for Renu and other Bausch & Lomb solutions fell to 29% from 42% prior to the Fusarium Kerkitis crisis announcement.

- Pete

Sunday, May 07, 2006

What is Fusarium Keratitis?

The Amercian Acadamy of Opthalmology has issued an FAQ on Fusarium Keratitis. Fusarium Keratits is a rare fungal infection of the Cornea.

Symptoms include:
  • Sudden blurry vision
  • Unusual redness of the eye
  • Pain in your eye
  • Excessive tearing or discharge from your eye
  • Increased light sensitivity
If left untreated the infection can cause blindness.

A couple of helpful tips for avoiding Fusarium Keratitis:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them before handling lenses.
  • Wear and replace your lenses according to the schedule prescribed by your doctor.
  • Follow instructions from your doctor and your solution manufacturer for cleaning and storing your lenses.
  • Make sure you always use fresh solution and replenish the solution daily.
  • Keep your contact lens case clean and replace every three to six months.
  • Remove the lenses and consult an ophthalmologist immediately if your eyes become red or irritated or your vision changes.
A most interesting tip
Regardless of what cleaning/disinfecting solution you use, consider performing a “rub and rinse” lens cleaning method rather than a “no-rub” method to minimize the number of germs, reducing your chances of infection.
- Pete

CDC Update - 102 confirmed cases

The CDC issued an update on the recent crisis regarding Bausch & Lomb's (BOL) Renu solution potentially causing Fusarium Keratitis infections. A Fusarium Keratitis infection is a serious fungus infection that can lead to blindness.

The number of confirmed cases has risen to 102. 12 more remain possible and 81 are still under investigation. It is not just MoistureLoc that may be the concern but could be all Renu solutions including generics produced by BOL.

As of 5/2/2006 56 cases had been researched:
  • 56 wear contact lenses
  • 32 reported using any B&L ReNu with MoistureLoc
  • 15 reported using any B&L ReNu MultiPlus
  • 7 reported using any unspecified B&L ReNu
  • 3 reported using any AMO product
  • 3 reported using any Alcon product


The reporting of these cases are in the development stages. Fusarium Keratitis is a naturally occuring infection, not likely to get reported. The media attention on these infections will likely spur more practitioners to report cases.

According to the CDC 2.3 million people used MoistureLoc with thier contacts. 11 million used Renu Multi Plus.

- Pete

NY Times Summary

The NY Times on 4/11/06 put together a piece that is a nice quick summary of the crisis up to that point. some interesting points, March 8th was the first time the CDC got a report of a problem that caused them to issue a request to corneal disease specialists for other cases. At the time of the article there was 109 cases reported between 6/15/2005 and 3/18/2006:

  • 8 required corneal transplants
  • The investigation centered around Renu Multi-Plus with MoistureLoc
  • of the 30 cases they had analyzed at the CDC
    • 28 wore soft contacts
    • 26 used Renu products
    • 5 had used other products besides Renu
This article mentions that similar problems with Renu caused Bausch & Lomb (BOL) to pull the products from Asia in February.

At this point BOL did not pull the MoistureLoc bottles off the shelves but did stop shipping them to retailers.

More to follow... - Pete

Bausch & Lomb Solution Causes Fungus Infection

Recent events have unfolded to uncover the fact that something about Bausch & Lomb contact solutions or their containers potentially causes Fusarium Keratitis a fungal eye infection that can lead to blindness.

Resources on the subject:

CDC


Bausch & Lomb

- Pete