April 13, 2006

Why Do Bioethicists Talk to Industry? Sometimes, Industry Listens

Bloomberg.com reports:
Bausch & Lomb Inc., the maker of a contact lens cleaner linked to a dangerous eye infection, withdrew the product from the U.S. market and offered refunds to consumers.

The action may blunt criticism from securities analysts, marketing specialists and a medical ethicist who said this week that the 153-year-old optical products maker wasn't doing enough to inform the nation's 30 million wearers of contact lenses. Bausch & Lomb shares leadership in the U.S. market for the eye care products with Alcon Inc...

"Bausch & Lomb's first priority is the health and safety of consumers,'' said Chief Executive Officer Ron Zarrella in an open letter that the company said will be in newspapers starting tomorrow. ``If there is a problem with our product, we'll find it and we'll fix it. If there's not, when we come back you'll be able to know with absolute certainty that we've taken every possible step to ensure your safety.''

Zarrella, 56, wasn't available for an interview today, said Meg Graham, a company spokeswoman. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration didn't ask Bausch & Lomb to remove the lens cleaner from the market, she said.

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