April 2020

ASCRS NEWS

COVID-19 News you can use
Ophthalmology industry heads weigh in on pandemic


All areas of medicine are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including industry. Several heads of companies in the ophthalmic space share how they’re functioning in the crisis to continue to serve physicians and patients.

We know the ophthalmology community is feeling the devastating impact of COVID-19 on their business, family, and patients. These are uncertain times, and Alcon is committed to supporting you during this crisis.
During this time, we have a dedicated team to help with reimbursement questions for telehealth services and resources to help provide clarity around the CARES Act. We’ve partnered with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and ASCRS to offer new content on our Alcon Experience Academy. This educational online resource has more than 800 videos on refractive, cataract, and retina surgery. We are also giving back with monetary donations to organizations working on the medical frontlines and within our communities.
Alcon has been a member of the eyecare community for more than 73 years. We know the ophthalmology community is resilient and a dedicated group of health care professionals. We will get through this together.

Sergio Duplan,
Region President, North America, Alcon

In these unprecedented times, our ophthalmology community needs to keep pulling together. At EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, we are working skeleton shifts in order to continue the supply of our two drugs YUTIQ and DEXYCU, and especially for YUTIQ, which can help prevent blindness due to posterior segment uveitis. We are grateful to our colleagues who continue to produce our drugs and to the many physicians and healthcare workers who continue to meet the needs of patients. We are also donating as many urgent care items as we can to Boston area hospitals, such as N95 masks, gowns, gloves, and other protective gear.
In addition, we are keeping reps home to avoid having extra people in the office and ASCs, but we are committed to meeting any need that customers have. Anyone with any need can call 1-833-EyePoint. We are here to help as best we can.

Nancy Lurker
President and CEO, EyePoint Pharmaceuticals

Haag-Streit USA is committed to supporting the ophthalmic industry and all related businesses. We are willing and able to continue our operations. Some of our coworkers are either working from home or are working onsite keeping our Reliance Medical Product manufacturing ongoing.
As an essential business in the state of Ohio, Haag-Streit USA is utilizing the remote workforce for most of our office staff in Ohio as well as our Sparks, Nevada, location. This allows for continuous support for technical service and customer service nationwide. We are updating our website to provide information to those who are seeking cleaning and disinfecting information for their equipment.
We at Haag-Streit USA are focusing on doing what we can do to fight COVID-19, to encourage others, and to take prudent actions. There will be a time “after COVID-19,” and we want to know we acted in the best way for the greater good.

Ernest Cavin, PhD
CEO/President, Haag-Streit USA

COVID-19 has changed the world’s priorities, including our own. Since January, Johnson & Johnson has been working directly with governments and health authorities to help end this fast-moving pandemic. We are working around the clock, collaborating to accelerate the development of a vaccine, screening compounds to determine if any could help treat those who have the virus, and mobilizing to provide equipment, products, and financial donations to support organizations and healthcare workers on the frontlines.
In surgical vision, we are working hard to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees and to provide support to them both at work and at home. We are also working with our customers to make this time a little easier, especially for those that are also small business owners. We’re hyper-focused on supply chain continuity and our ability to hit the ground running when cases resume. We’re using this time to do intensive training with our field organization, so the time spent out of the OR is productive, and we’re able to strengthen our relationships with our customers in their time of need. My hope is that we all rise to the occasion—in business and in life—and that our actions lay the foundation for future successes and a renewed sense of community.

Warren Foust
Worldwide President, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Surgical Vision

As the healthcare industry goes through a dramatic shift in the wake of the current COVID-19 outbreak, Nextech has made it a top priority to provide ophthalmologists the resources, tools, and information needed to stay informed and help adapt to the dynamically changing situation. From shifting our focus to deliver a telehealth solution, to providing up-to-date information on regulatory changes and ways to reduce financial impact, Nextech remains committed to not only providing industry leading EHR and practice management solutions but also partnering with healthcare providers to support them through times of change. For more information on how Nextech can help your practice, give us a call at 800-868-3694.

Wyn Partington
Chief Revenue Officer, Nextech

Within U.S. Ophthalmics and across Novartis, we are adjusting every day to rebalance the many things that need to be taken care of in new ways, including how we support our customers and their patients, and how we help our people adjust to significant changes in their lives and in their work, including working remotely (often with kids at home). On a tactical level, we’ve strengthened our Virtual Support Specialists (VSS) capabilities and our online sample support (portal.novartis.com). Our customer-facing associates are hyper-aware of being there when our customers need us, and also not being there when they don’t have the capacity or bandwidth to take our calls. I’m seeing this kind of respect and professionalism across the board, including how our people allot their time and energies, and in a raised awareness about how we can support each other. In our industry and beyond, I am inspired by examples of people who are leading with true empathy for others, putting their needs first. We’re all doing our best to model that, and in the process, gaining new insights about what it means to be engaged, with each other, our customers, and with patients.

Patrick Mooney
Vice President and Franchise Head,
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

This has been a trying time for the whole ophthalmology community. As a company, Ocular Therapeutix is trying to do whatever we can to help everyone prepare for the time when the lights come back on, while also being respectful of the challenges we all face in the present. The important thing is to keep together as a community, weather the storm together, and come back even stronger.

Antony Mattessich
CEO, Ocular Therapeutix

Santen, like all companies, is actively monitoring the constantly changing developments with COVID-19 during this unprecedented time. Our top priority is the health and well-being of our employees, their families, and industry partners helping to preserve vision for patients globally. This includes taking steps to ensure ophthalmologists and optometrists have continued access to Santen’s technologies and solutions to enable them to provide the best level of eyecare. Our company is also in contact with professional and patient organizations to identify ways we can better support healthcare providers and their patients at the global, national, and regional levels. We are doing our part to help “flatten the curve” by supporting employees as they work from home and conduct business remotely that might have otherwise required travel.

Tatsuya Kaihara
Head of North America Business, Santen Inc.

We are doing everything we can to support eyecare professionals—many of whom are providing emergency patient services only—during this very difficult time. Our field sales and medical representatives are checking in with customers to see if they can be of any assistance, and our marketing teams are working toward ensuring that all product resources are easily accessible. Our biggest concern and top priority is to protect the well-being of our patients, healthcare providers, and employees.

Mark Hagler
Senior Vice President, Head of Ophthalmics,
Oncology & LTC, Sun Pharma

I’m so proud to be part of the Wills Eye team, standing strong and determined on the battle lines as this unprecedented new threat sweeps across our globe. Facing down COVID-19 with my mission-driven band of brothers and sisters as we continue to serve our patients and preserve vision is the honor and privilege of a lifetime.

Julia A. Haller, MD
Ophthalmologist-in-Chief,
Wills Eye Hospital

Ophthalmology industry heads weigh in on pandemic Ophthalmology industry heads weigh in on pandemic
Ophthalmology News - EyeWorld Magazine
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