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AAOpt 2023: Pipeline update from Alcon

News
Article

Hear about the new innovations on the market—and coming soon—from Alcon.

Kristen Brotherson, VP of Sales Vision Care for Alcon, sat down with Optometry Times®' assistant managing editor Emily Kaiser Maharjan to share a pipeline update.

Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Emily Kaiser Maharjan:

Hi everyone. I'm Emily Kaiser Maharjan with Optometry Times and I'm sitting down with Kristen Brotherson from Alcon, who's here to talk about what's new at the company. Welcome, Kristen, I'm so glad you could join us.

Kristen Brotherson:

Hey, Emily, thank you so much for having me this morning. It's great to see you.

Kaiser Maharjan:

Of course. So happy to have you. First, can you tell us a little bit about the Total30 multifocal launch?

Brotherson:

Yes, thank you so much for asking. We are absolutely thrilled to be launching the first and only monthly multifocal with the water gradient platform technology. Super exciting news for presbyopes everywhere. And what's great about the Total30 multifocal is that it leverages the precision profile design of all outcome multifocal.

So this is a fitting technology that doctors are familiar with. And why is that? Because this is actually the number one design in the US of multifocal technology provides seamless vision from near to far for patients. So whether they're talking on their smartphone, texting, looking at a computer, or driving at night and trying to see far in the distance, they can expect really good seamless vision all the way across. So, we're very excited about this launch.

Kaiser Maharjan:

Absolutely. And it's starting to roll out into US markets now, right?

Brotherson:

That's right. We're doing some limited launching now. But really, the big splash is going to be starting in January when we start getting fit sets out to more and more folks. And it's really a great way for doctors to think about patients that are in older presbyopia correcting technology, like an air optics multifocal or a multifocal from another manufacturer on an older platform. This is really a great way to offer patients new innovation that was designed for how patients use their eyes today with that water gradient technology.

Kaiser Maharjan:

Absolutely. That sounds really, really exciting. So I also know that Alcon sponsored a few posters that were presented at AAOpt, can you tell us a little bit about the findings?

Brotherson:

Yeah, I'll tell you one of the posters that I was most excited about was the poster presented by Dr. Pucker, and it was all about contact lens dropout. This is something that every ECP faces with their patients. And historically, it was kind of like you lose that patient, they get out of contact lenses. So what's next for them?

What Dr. Pucker found out is, after 6 months of dropout...it was actually a multicenter site—they put those patients in DT1. And it was really interesting to find that those patients who had historically dropped out of contact lens were altogether, after trying DT1, a large majority of them chose to get back into contact lens wear.

And there was one statistic from the presentation, that was really amazing. And that was the high percentage of patients that not only got back into contact lens wear because of DT1, but also would be comfortable recommending that lens to a friend because of the comfort they were experiencing. So really excellent data presented by Dr. Pucker and his associate.

Kaiser Maharjan:

Absolutely, and it's very compelling motivation for clinicians to really find that right fit for their patients too.

Brotherson:

That's right, because, look, patients want to be in contact lenses. And when they drop out because of discomfort, it's awesome to know that you've got an alternative with, you know, a water gradient technology that's going to feel really comfortable because of that nice cushion of moisture on the eye.

Kaiser Maharjan:

So I also know we heard quite a bit of buzz at the Academy about Marlo, which helps patients reorder contacts online among other things. Can you tell us a little bit more about this platform and how it's changing over time, and how it differs from other contact lens ordering platforms?

Brotherson:

Thank you for the question. Marlo is something that we are so proud of. It was really designed to keep patients, revenue, reorders with the ECP. We know that patient adherence to the practice is something that's really on the forefront of every doctor's mind. And what I think is really critical, Emily, if I can, is just a frame out that Alcon is innovating for today's patient. Not only with our contact lens technologies, making sure that we have, you know, a full portfolio of water gradient lenses that help address digital device dryness, which is something every patient experiences if they're using a digital device, but also with Marlo. It's all about that convenience for the patient.

So a few things that I think are really interesting are around how this is different from other ecommerce platforms. Because I think, you know, it's easy for folks to think about Marlo as just a place to order contact lenses. It's actually not only a place for your patients to order contact lenses directly from the ECP, but it's also a place where you can create an out of the store relationship with that patient. Where you can connect with that patient with messages reminders, where you can look at various ways to continue to offer value and innovation to that patient when they're not in the chair in front of you. So it's really about, you know, creating a digital ally—an eye care ally—for the ECP to keep that patient, the revenues, as well as that relationship with the ECP and the patient in that practice.

Kaiser Maharjan:

Fantastic. That's really interesting. Is there anything else that Alcon's working on that you'd like to mention?

Brotherson:

You know, these are the big ones. For right now, what I can say is we're always working on something, but what I'm really pleased to say is, we are acutely focused on innovation for today's patient. So what that means is disruptive innovation that really does move the practice of optometry forward where I know, historically, there's maybe been a look at changing a feature on a lens and calling that innovation. We are all about the focus on comfort and vision for the patients, specifically patients who are using digital devices.

And, Emily, a couple of fun facts you may or may not know: the average American is on a digital device, 13 hours a day. And what we know is when a patient is on a device, they blink 60% less. What's great is our portfolio of contact lenses—whether it's [the] DT1 family, Precision 1 family, or the Total30 family now with the new multifocal rounding that family out—every patient, despite their needs visually, or what they can afford, or what their choices may be, every patient can rely on an Alcon lens that's going to help address their digital device dryness, thanks to our permanent water surface technology across that portfolio. So we're really excited about that.

And then moving forward, as I'm sure you've heard, we've got a new modality coming to market in the future, we think it's going to be super disruptive. We at Alcon, just like many of our ECP colleagues that we innovate with, we believe that shorter is better. And so we're excited about the future, which is going to be the Precision 7 launch—a weekly lens for those patients who aren't quite ready for a daily, but we want to move them through that continuum and get them as close to a daily as possible with a weekly lens, which we find to be a very intuitive fitting schedule for patients.

Kaiser Maharjan:

Interesting. I'm very excited to hear more about that. It's gonna be very exciting.

Brotherson:

Yeah, coming soon!

Kaiser Maharjan:

Well, thank you so much for taking the time to chat today. It's been a delight.

Brotherson:

Excellent. Emily, thank you so much for the opportunity. Great seeing you.

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