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Kyuji Kimbara, Mai Nagasaki, Yoshie Itou, Nobuyuki Miyata, Tatsukata Kawagoe, Nobuhisa Mizuki, Eiichi Okada; A Proposal to Bifocal Contact Lens Development According to Consumption Trends. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):4733.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Related to aging of Japan's population structures, the main users of contact lenses have shifted to older generations. Contrary to the growth of the sales potential, bifocal contact lens (BF lens) accounts for only 1.2% of total lens purchased at Okada Eye Clinic. In this study, we will make a proposal to future BF lens development based on the investigation of BF lens user demographics.
Statistical evaluation was made to 2,619 patients (2,160 women and 459 men) whom purchased BF lens at our clinic from October 2006 to September 2011. Research was made from various angles including relationship between the amounts purchased to price fluctuations of the lens.
The most consumed lens type was two-week frequent-replacement BF lens (2w BF lens; 67.0%), followed by rigid gas permeable (19.7%), daily-disposable (18.3%), and conventional BF lens (3.6%; duplicates allowed). The age of patients ranged from 41 to 77, with the main being 50 to 54 (33.4%) and 55 to 59 (30.2%), followed by 45 to 49 (16.4%), 60 to 64 (14.9%), over 65 (4.1%), and 40 to 44 (1.0%). The peak of spherical power of 2w BF lens was -5.50D. The add power prescribed in 67.3% of patients were +2.50D (average age 56 years), 21.5% were +1.50D (48 yrs.), 9.4% were +2.00D (52 yrs.), and 1.7% were +1.00D (51 yrs.). For 74 consecutive days from March to May 2011, Bausch & Lomb’s 2w BF lens was sold at approximately half the original price, nearly equal to the price of 2w spherical lenses. This caused a four-fold increase in the number of the lens purchasers (589 in total) and a two-fold increase in the average number of boxes purchased per day compared to the period before the price change. Among those purchased BF lens during the half-price period, 54.4% were experienced and 45.5% were first-time patients.
Lowering the price of BF lenses resulted in significant increase in the number of purchasers, which indicates that the value of current BF lenses is not satisfying the expectations of many patients, and potential demand of BF lens may be boosted by restraining prices. Thus, cutting manufacturing costs by refining lens materials and optics designs (such as reducing parameters) so that it can be applied to the maximum number of patients and may encourage the broad use of BF lens.
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