Kicking off the April event on daily disposables, moderator Brian Chou, O.D., asked the audience if they believe all patients should be put into daily disposables. The results were divided: 36% said yes, 39% said no and 25% said yes with some reservations.
Panelists Jason Miller, O.D., M.B.A., and Mile Brujic, O.D., said the survey results reflected a debate that’s been ongoing between the two of them.

“I personally think all patients can be placed in daily disposables, but it’s hard to say yes because we don’t always have available powers to make it the go-to lens for all patients,” said Dr. Miller.

After first acknowledging the benefits of daily disposables from a health perspective, Dr. Brujic summed up the challenge: Is the daily disposable technology as comfortable as two-week or monthly options? Can we create all of the parameters that we currently have available in specialty lenses?

Interestingly, said Dr. Miller, the percentage of eye doctors and optometric staff that wear daily disposables is very high, but these same practitioners are not aggressive in putting their patients in this modality. Dr. Brujic said he thinks it is the preconceived notions, like cost for example, that causes practitioners to fall back to old habits when it comes to fitting patients.

Dr. Chou provided some history: In 1995, when the modality was first introduced to the U.S., the market share hovered around 5% and went up to 15% in 2011.1 Why the change? Several factors were mentioned starting with the reality that, in the past decade, there have been two major solution recalls, which naturally led practitioners to look at alternative options.

The audience also had a lot to add to this event. Attendees submitted several questions throughout the discussion, including one regarding whether daily disposables helped drive referrals to the panelists’ practices. Drs. Miller and Brujic, who were able to answer online in real-time, said they have seen an increase in new patients looking specifically for daily disposables and existing patients asking questions about this modality. In response to another audience question, Dr. Miller said that an added bonus is the aggressive manufacturer rebates that allow practices to set reasonable prices for the lenses, which generally keeps patients from shopping around.

The audience was then polled on whether the cost of daily disposables hinders their ability to use the product. The response: 21% strongly agreed, 54% somewhat agreed, 13% somewhat disagreed and 13% strongly disagreed. Dr. Brujic said this was interesting since while there is an initial higher purchase cost with daily disposables over two-week or monthly counterparts, the expenses even out over the course of the year.

Dr. Miller disagreed slightly, saying that the patient’s perception is that daily disposables are more expensive and their perception is their truth. While it is important to address the expense factor, it is also important not to dwell on the issue. Rather shift the focus onto the ease, convenience and freshness of the daily option.

From the financial breakdown to the health benefits, this month’s talk on daily disposables was highly informative.

A special thank you to our active audience who participated throughout the evening. We welcome you to join us at our next live conversation, which will focus on steroids. You can register for upcoming online events at   

1. Nichols JJ. Contact Lenses 2011. CL Spectrum. 2012 Jan.