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Eye Health Companies Form Industry Vision Group in UK PDF
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International News
Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Novartis, Bayer and Allergan are among the founding members of a new UK industry group that unites pharma and medical technology companies with an interest in eye health. The group is focused on overarching policy issues and aims to help secure greater prioritisation of eye health with policy makers and commissioners; and improve access to care, treatment and services for people with eye health conditions. The group is currently developing its work programme and looks forward to working collaboratively with the eye health community to make progress towards its stated aims.

Richard Marsh, chairman of the group, said: "I am delighted that both medical technology and pharmaceutical companies with an interest in eye health have come together to form this initiative. There is very little that is more precious to an individual than their eyesight and modern advances in medicine and medical technology means we have taken tremendous steps forward in helping to look after the eyes, and to tackle the causes of visual impairment.

"The IVG believes that the NHS (National Health Service) should give even greater priority to eye care and it is never more important to make this case than at a time when all services are under pressure. We will work both together as companies, and with other organisations representing both patients and practitioners, to ensure that the NHS has a vision for vision that embraces all the potential that medicine and medical technology can bring."

 
WCO Announces New Membership Categories PDF
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International News
Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The World Council of Optometry (WCO) has announced the launch of two new membership categories following their Governing Board meeting in Maputo last month. The two categories are 'Individual' and 'Corporate' membership. WCO has introduced these categories in order to make the organisation accessible to people who want to support their work.

Individual membership will be open to individual optometrists (as defined by WCO), vision scientists, faculty, researchers and eye care industry professionals. The cost of individual membership is US$100 and US$50 if the individual member is from a developing country.

Corporate memberships are open to commercial organisations that are not otherwise eligible for Associate or Affiliate membership and have a recognised and approved business relationship with an Associate, Affiliate or Individual member.

Individual and Corporate members must endorse the WCO concept of optometry and support WCO's vision and mission. The fee for Corporate membership is US$900 per annum.

Susan Cooper, President of The World Council of Optometry said: "We have created these new membership categories in order for us to grow our membership base while recognising and celebrating the support we have from individuals and organisations around the world. You do not have to be an optometrist to be interested in our mission is to promote eye health and vision care as a human right through advocacy, education and policy development. We look forward to welcoming new individuals and organisations to our membership body."

 
Major Fines for Roche and Novartis in Italy PDF
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International News
Tuesday, 03 June 2014

The Italian government is seeking EUR 1.2 billion in damages from drug companies Novartis and Roche for losses that it says the national health service incurred from the companies' efforts to restrict competition in ophthalmic drugs.

The Italian Health Ministry said that the two drugmakers colluded to direct patients with an eye disorder to a more expensive medicine. That resulted in damages to the Italian health system of EUR 45 million in 2012, EUR 540 million last year and EUR 615 million this year, the ministry said.

The move comes after the Italian antitrust authorities in March fined the two Swiss pharmaceutical companies a combined EUR 180 million in the same case, having found that they colluded to keep doctors from prescribing a relatively inexpensive eye treatment in favor of a more expensive drug used to treat a common cause of blindness. The authorities said in March: "The companies colluded to exclude the cheap drug Avastin, used in the treatment of the most common eyesight condition in the elderly as well as other serious sight problems, and channel demand towards the much more expensive drug Lucentis, through an artificial distinction between the two products. The anticompetitive agreement caused the Italian National Health Service to sustain additional expenses estimated at over EUR 45 million in 2012, while increased future costs might exceed EUR 600 million per year. Novartis and Roche were imposed fines totaling respectively EUR 92 and 90,5 million."

It is expected that other countries in Europe, such as France, will follow suit.

 
China Fines Major Foreign Owned Eyecare Companies PDF
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International News
Friday, 30 May 2014

China has levied more than 19 million yuan (AU$3.3 million) in total fines against major foreign owned eyecare companies for alleged antitrust behavior, in its latest effort to use competition laws to tame pricing. On its website, China's National Development and Reform Commission said it levied the fines after finding eyewear and lens companies were exerting excessive control over prices. It said some restricted retail prices and used tactics such as improperly controlling terms of product promotions.

Shanghai Essilor Optical Co. has been fined the most. Their fine of 8,790,200 yuan (approximately AU$1.5 million) represents 2% of their annual sales. Beijing Nikon also received a fine of 2% of their annual sales or 1,684,800 yuan (approximately AUS$0.3 million). Other companies mentioned in the article that received fines are Carl Zeiss optics (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd. Beijing Bausch & Lomb eye care products and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Trading (Shanghai) Co.

 
Global Assessment of Diabetic Retinopathy Alliance Established PDF
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International News
Thursday, 15 May 2014

DR AllianceA new project has been launched to assess the awareness, treatment and implications of diabetic retinopathy globally. Results are intended to inform decision-making and policy development around this common and serious complication of diabetes.

Project partners, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), working in collaboration with the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) will gather evidence on knowledge, policies, standards of care, and supportive services for retinopathy across 40 countries.

Retinopathy is one of the most common complications associated with diabetes and one of the major causes of adult blindness. Up to 11% of adults with diabetes have Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), a specific type of diabetic retinopathy. According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas 6th edition, there are large variations in the estimates of retinopathy prevalence in people with known diabetes, with estimates ranging from 11 to 45% worldwide in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

 
Alcon Opens New Plant In Singapore PDF
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International News
Thursday, 24 April 2014

Alcon officially opened the doors last week to its new state-of-the-art ophthalmic pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the Tuas Biomedical Park in Singapore. The new facility allows Alcon to be closer and quickly respond to its growing base of customers and patients throughout Asia, who rely on the Alcon portfolio of products for healthy vision.

Construction on this 330,000 square foot facility began in 2009, and represents an investment of approximately S$200 million (approx. AUD170 million). The plant produces ophthalmic pharmaceutical products which address eye conditions such as glaucoma, dry eye, allergies and bacterial infections.

Alcon already has experience in operating a manufacturing plant in Singapore. In 2005, the company opened a contact lens manufacturing facility in the Tuas Biomedical Park, to meet the growing demand for DAILIES® contact lenses. Singapore has proven to be an attractive manufacturing environment for Alcon.

The products manufactured at the new Alcon facility address some of the most widespread eye care needs in the region, such as glaucoma. Currently, the facility employs approximately 150 associates, and is expected to continue to grow as production increases.

 
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