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AOA Doctors of Optometry Partner With FDA and Other Industry Leaders to Develop New Measures to Better Protect Contact Lens Wearers
Date:1/26/2009

Optometrists and other experts sponsor workshop to investigate increase in Acanthamoeba keratitis and to develop new testing methods to improve contact lens care products and protect against infections

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to increase the safety and effectiveness of contact lenses and lens care products for consumers, doctors of optometry from the American Optometric Association (AOA) co-sponsored a workshop last week with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (FDA/CDRH) and other ophthalmic leaders. During the two-day public event, industry leaders discussed test method parameters for evaluating the effectiveness of contact lens care products to protect against infections from the Acanthamoeba parasite, which is common to water and soil.

Current FDA testing fails to include the Acanthamoeba parasite as part of its standard testing process, despite numerous Acanthamoeba and Fusarium keratitis incidences among lens wearers in late 2006 and 2007. To help protect consumers from infections and other complications, the AOA and others leaders in the vision community have been urging the agency to expand current testing practices to include the harmful parasite. Participants also discussed improving microbiological test methods to better simulate "real world" consumer use conditions, including patient non-compliance.

"Our participation in this important workshop indicates that we strongly support the FDA in making changes to help protect the sight of Americans," said William Benjamin, O.D., and member of the AOA's Commission on Ophthalmic Standards. "We encouraged the FDA to require products be tested under more realistic conditions, when feasible, and in situations where lens wearers are not compliant with a doctor's instructions."

During the workshop, participants reached consensus on testing param
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SOURCE American Optometric Association
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