The problem is that Bausch&Lomb knew there was a fungal eye infection
problem in Asia as early as November 2005 when Hong Kong health officials told
the company that they had noted an increase in hospital admissions due to
contact-lens-related keratitis from June to September 2005.
Knowing about this problem in late 2005, demonstrates that Bausch&Lomb did
too little too late to isolate the U.S. fungal eye infection problem, advise the
contact-wearing public about the possible problem, recall ReNu with MoistureLoc,
and investigate the source of the problem. Numerous victims have experienced
excruciating pain, expensive medical treatment, and corneal implants or
blindness if left untreated.
ReNu with MoistureLoc appeared on the market in late 2004 and generated $45
million in U.S. sales last year -- a small portion of Bausch&Lomb's more than
$2 billion in annual revenues. The company also makes contact lenses, ophthalmic
drugs, and vision-correction surgical products.
Actions speak louder than words: A new
television commercial has CEO Ron Zarrella saying that Bausch&Lomb is
committed to earning customer trust every day. The problem with that
marketing-speak is there was a known eye infection problem noted in Asia almost
six months before ReNu with MoistureLoc was temporarily removed from the shelves
in the United States.
How does that lack of timely action raise consumer trust?
Bausch&Lomb first stated in February 2006 that there may be an unusual
occurrence with this fungal infection when three months earlier the company was
notified about the June to September 2005 Hong Kong incidences in November 2005.
The company claimed that nothing in the November contact with Hong Kong
authorities, or the investigation being done at the time, seemed to require
further actions since no definitive link had been made between ReNu with
MoistureLoc and the rise in fungal eye infections.
Although Bausch&Lomb reported the Hong Kong incident to the FDA in December
2005, its report stated that no causal factors can be determined and no
conclusion can be drawn which in turn did not sound a warning signal in the
United States and lulled the company into a false and misrepresenting sense of
security regarding ReNu with MoistureLoc.
When pharmaceutical products are linked to adverse reactions, serious
side-effects, or contamination, how a company (in this case Bausch&Lomb)
reacts to the problem is often the most critical factor in assessing whether the
crisis was adequately managed.
Many perceptions and consequences are directly related to the effectiveness of
the initial steps taken by any company once the safety of one of its products is
brought into question.
Bausch&Lombís perceived concern (or lack thereof) for the safety of the
contacts-wearing public will be defined by the speed of its reaction to the ReNu
with MoistureLoc problem.
In the mean time, the CDC has received 191 reports of eye infections caused by
the keratitis fungus, with 86 of those cases being confirmed. At least 54 of the
58 contact lens wearers stated that they had used a Bausch&Lomb lens cleaning
solution. The problem is these cases could have been avoided if Bausch&Lomb
advised the contact-wearing public of the problem earlier vs. later.
The problem is: Can you trust Bausch&Lomb with your precious eyesight?
If you have used ReNu with MoistureLoc and are
experiencing serious eye infections and possible blindness, please contact an
expert ReNu lawyer today for a free consultation.
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