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    Johnson & Johnson to acquire Abbott Medical Optics


    A coming home story

    This is not J&J’s first rodeo with the ophthalmic space. In the 1980s, the corporation acquired IOLAB, an ophthalmic product line, and sold it to CIBA Vision in 1994. At that time, reimbursements were significantly low and deceasing in cataract areas, McEvoy said. However, reimbursement rates have been consistent over the past 10 years and cataract equipment is becoming more and more affordable, which makes the acquisition an appropriately timed "coming home" story.

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    It’s also a coming home story for Tom Frinzi, current senior vice president of AMO, who previously worked at J&J as a vice president and national sales manager early in his career.

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    Reactions from MDs

    “I believe this will be a better environment for AMO. I got the impression that AMO’s purchase by Abbott was somewhat restricting in that there was a huge corporate culture from Abbott that was not interested very much in the eye care aspect of their business,” said Richard Hoffman, MD, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Eugene, OR. “The new relationship with J&J will hopefully be more ‘eye-friendly’ since many of their products are currently in the ophthalmic and optometric sphere. I am hopeful that the new relationship will be a good thing for AMO and J&J.”

    Dr. Hoffman is also a member of the Ophthalmology Times editorial advisory board.

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    “As ophthalmologists, we understand the importance of continued innovation in the field of ophthalmology given the consistent rise in patients with eye conditions from an aging baby boomer population,” said Joshua Mali, MD, The Eye Associates, Sarasota, FL, who is also a regular blogger with Ophthalmology Times. “Therefore, I definitely support and applaud Johnson & Johnson's decision to acquire a well-established and trusted ophthalmic company in AMO. The expanded research and development budget of a pharmaceutical giant like J&J will help advance ophthalmic surgical technology and consumer eye health products to benefit our patients. Now, J&J will be a powerful player in the ophthalmic surgical space in addition to its world-class consumer health products and pharmaceutical business."

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    Jolie Higazi
    Jolie is the Content Specialist for Ophthalmology Times. She can be reached at [email protected]

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