Interview Synopsis

Contact lens manufacturers – coronavirus impact & strategic outlook

  • Multi Asset
  • Healthcare
  • Global

The global contact lens market was growing at about 5% before the COVID-19 pandemic and, despite having experienced some disruption, many companies are upbeat about their future prospects, a former executive at Alcon Laboratories told Third Bridge Forum in an Interview.

Positive outlook for global contact lens market

The expert outlined the myriad reasons why the market has strong fundamentals, one of which is the acceleration of online contact lens purchasing, which has been boosted by the pandemic. 

Despite some manufacturers reporting a dip in Q1 and Q2 sales, as many people wore glasses during lockdown, sales have since started to pick up. The Interview took a closer look at CooperVision, whose Q3 results show it has weathered the storm well. How other players have coped, including Johnson & Johnson, Alcon/Ciba and Bausch + Lomb, was also discussed.

In terms of channel dynamics, the specialist predicts more direct-to-consumer advertising and promotion. “Johnson & Johnson is clearly the leader in that space, they have been hugely effective over the years in marketing directly to consumers, on television, on radio, in print, social media,” he said.

Also on the agenda was how the daily disposable lens is “unquestionably the fastest-growing category” and, within that, silicone hydrogels — an area that Bausch + Lomb has just entered in the US. “It’s certainly a very good time to be launching a product like Infuse into the fastest-growing category in contact lenses.”

Technological advances are also underway in the intraocular lens (IOL) segment of the market. PanOptix was highlighted as a leading player here, while Alcon is launching a follow-up called Vivity, aimed at those who are sensitive to haloes and glare. “Between PanOptix, again, unquestionably the market leader, and Vivity following up, they have a strong one-two punch.”

The “holy grail” within the IOL space is accommodating intraocular lenses, according to the Interview. “That’s the next step, and a number of manufacturers are spending R&D dollars in that field of trying to develop a truly accommodating intraocular lens, so it would be more natural and potentially provide better vision for the cataract patient.”

To access all the human insights in Third Bridge Forum’s Contact lens manufacturers – coronavirus impact & strategic outlook Interview, click here to view the full transcript. 

The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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