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Point of Contact

EB’s Contact Lens Virtual Focus Group study results help define the crucial directions for the category heading into eye care’s new normal

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W
ith social distancing measures in place across the country, the consistency of delivery and ease of receiving contact lenses is top of mind for both patients and practitioners.

In fact, 84% of EB’s ECPs + Covid-19 Focus Group Study respondents say they are currently offering contact lens replenishment via phone ordering and mail delivery and 46% say they are offering curbside pickup of contact lenses during the Covid-19 crisis.

Without a doubt, contact lens sales are becoming increasingly paramount for ECPs across the country. Specifically, according to EB’s Contact Lens Virtual Focus Group Study, more than a third (an average of 37%) of ECPs’ business can be attributed to contact lens patients today—up 4 percentage points from 2017.

From what ECPs are prescribing (dailies have surpassed monthly disposables), to whom you’re prescribing to (yes, millennials take the cake), to how online sales are affecting your business—when it comes to CLs, the intel served up here from EB’s Contact Lens Virtual Focus Group can serve as a main point of contact for your business.

EB’s Contact Lens Virtual Focus Group results are presented in partnership with Unity BioSync contact lenses with HydraMist from VSP Optics.

GROWTH ON THE HORIZON

More than half of ECPs have seen an increase in contact lens sales over the past six to 12 months, with more than a quarter seeing growth of more than 5%.

DAILY PREFERENCE

Daily disposables make up the largest component of contact lenses prescribed, up nearly 10 percentage points from 2017. The prescription of monthly disposables has decreased more than 5 percentage points in the same time frame.

MAKING CONTACT

37% of patients treated by ECPs are seen for contact lenses, up from 33% in 2017.

Better yet, an average of 28% of gross revenue is derived from contact lens sales, up from 22% in 2017.

EYE ON SPHERICAL

The largest percentage of ECPs’ soft CL business is derived from spherical lenses, followed by toric and multifocal lenses. A mere 3% of business comes from color-enhancing contacts.

SPREADING THE WORD

How do you promote CLs in your office? Nearly two-thirds (65%) of ECPs actively market their contact lens business, with in-office point-of-purchase displays reigning as the most popular form of promotion.

MILLENNIAL MOMENT

Yes, the spotlight’s on millennials: ECPs are fitting patients ages 24-39 for CLs most often.

MAKING CONTACT

According to a new peer-reviewed paper, patients can feel confident wearing contacts amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our findings indicate that contact lenses remain a perfectly acceptable form of vision correction during the coronavirus pandemic, as long as people observe good hand hygiene and follow appropriate wear-and-care directions,” says Lyndon Jones, director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education at the University of Waterloo and the paper’s lead author.

“[We are doing] more telehealth, mailing contacts, and doing car-side deliveries to patients.”
EB Covid-19 survey respondent

LEADING THE CHARGE

Nearly 8 out of 10 ECPs are charging more for contact lenses in 2020 than they were one year ago.

“Our buying group for contacts is direct shipping contacts to patients at no charge.”
EB Covid-19 survey respondent

CONTACTS + COVID-19

ECPs share how they’re helping patients easily receive contact lenses during these turbulent times.

“[We have] new cleaning protocols, limits on who can enter the office, new pickup procedures, and free direct shipping on contact lenses.”
EB Covid-19 survey respondent

BATTLING THE ONLINE RX-ODUS

Nearly all (96%) of ECPs have been affected by the online sale of contact lenses at some level.

“[We have] limited hours and urgent care or emergency visits only; [and] curbside pickup for contacts and specs.”
EB Covid-19 survey respondent

MYOPIA MOVEMENT

ECPs are almost evenly split on offering CLs intended to slow or halt the progression of myopia.

47% Soft contact lens that is FDA-approved to slow progression of myopia

50% Bifocal or multifocal soft contact lens that has not received FDA approval to slow myopia progression

50% Orthokeratology contact lens