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Contact Lens Care Products Results In Eye Infection

Bausch & Lomb Inc. is in serious trouble after an eye infection was detected in association with the use of one of its lens care products.// There are complaints arising from Asia, US and Europe under pressure since authorities said its contact lens care products might be linked to a spate of serious eye infections in Asia and the United States, said a handful of cases of the infection had also been confirmed in Europe. Bausch & Lomb, based in Rochester, New York, recalled ReNu lens care products after users were diagnosed with fungal infections. Health authorities have not yet determined a root cause of the fungal infection, known as Fusarium keratitis, which can lead to blindness and potential eye loss.

The stock, which is trading near three-year lows, has fallen nearly 40 percent this year and is the weakest health-care issue in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about 27% of the cases involved ReNu brand, ReNu MultiPlus, suggesting the company's entire ReNu franchise may be at risk. Bausch was planning to repurchase all of five series of bonds totaling nearly $544 million. Banc of America Securities analyst David Maris said that the company would be left with little cash. But a Bausch & Lomb spokesman said the company has ample cash to cover its debt repurchase. Cal Warriner, a West Palm Beach attorney says that there an increase in the number of cases against the company. His firm now handles more than 100 cases against Bausch & Lomb.


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