Johnson & Johnson Vision Care is to run a new one-day course on astigmatism on September 17. It will also be combined with a healthy contact lens wear course during a two-day event on August 15 and 16, with the sessions including a workshop on the visual challenges faced by astigmats and practical diagnostic sessions. A total of 70 CET points will be available from J&J courses before the current CET cycle closes in December.
Sir Michael Rawlins of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has suggested the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) could seek judicial review over the availability of Ozurdex for retinal vein occlusion. Discussing availability of the treatment in Health Service Journal, NICE chair Sir Michael said hospital trusts restricting NICE-approved products were acting unlawfully. RNIB studies showed 37 trusts were restricting Ozurdex.
US pharmacy group Walgreen has completed its initial investment in Alliance Boots after passing regulatory approvals. The investment (News 22.06.12) consists of approximately $4.0bn in cash and 83.4 million shares of Walgreen common stock for a 45 per cent equity stake in Alliance Boots, with an option to acquire the remaining 55 per cent in three years. Alliance Santé Participations, of which Boots executive chairman Stefano Pessina is a director, has become the largest shareholder of Walgreen 'with a stake it intends to hold for the long term'.
A fire service has turned the heat up on optics. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue has asked its technicians to discuss the need for regular eye tests and identify vulnerable and older people who have not had an eye test in the last two years. Those requiring further help are being checked and referred to the Action for Blind People charity, which has provided portable eye screening kits for the scheme. During a four month trial, 165 people were screened resulting in 52 referrals.