Bausch + Lomb (B + L) outlines the company's commitment to eye care with a strong portfolio, new programs, patient access, and better pricing.
Bausch + Lomb (B + L) is one of the oldest commercial names in eye care with one of broadest product portfolios in the ophthalmic industry. Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ acquisition of the company has not changed B + L’s dedication to eye care or its continuing investment in glaucoma and other eye care categories.
“We, Valeant, are a collection of great healthcare franchises and brands that exist globally,” said Tracy M. Valorie, senior vice president and general manager of ophthalmology Rx at B + L. “We have a lot of talented people who continue to evolve our portfolio and continue to deliver products and services in a vast array of areas, ophthalmology being one of them. One of the greatest challenges in health care is ensuring that patients can actually receive products once they are approved. At Valeant, we have a relentless focus on creative ways to help patients to gain access to products at reasonable prices.”
Valorie discussed the role of B + L in the larger Valeant organization during an Industry Spotlight presentation at the 2016 Glaucoma 360 meeting. B + L accounts for 10% of Valeant’s total portfolio in the United States. B+L’s ophthalmic lines account for even larger proportions of Valeant’s revenues in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and other regions. She said Valeant is leveraging its broad portfolio reach to bolster sales by focusing on patient access and pricing issues.
Valeant recently announced a 20-year partnership with Walgreens to improve patient access to health care at affordable pricing. The initial access program is focusing on three patient care areas: women’s health, dermatology, and ophthalmology.
“This program is a real opportunity for patients you treat with B + L products,” Valorie said. “You now know that they will get precisely the product you wrote for at an affordable price.”
Acquisition also has helped B + L focus on new products and programs that lead to expanded growth opportunities, she continued. While all Valeant units are focused on growth, B + L brings a deep research-and-development bench in eye care. In addition to traditional strengths in consumer, contact lenses, vision care, and surgical, B + L is also focusing on pharmaceuticals.
“Eye care is all we do at B + L,” Valorie said. “When you look across the breadth and depth of our portfolio, we can treat pretty much anything you see across the slit lamp. Not all of our brands are the biggest in the market, but we have the opportunity to work with each of the areas you focus on.”
The company already has a strong portfolio in cataract and retinal surgery, a portfolio that was strengthened with the acquisition of Synergetics at the end of 2015. In ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, the focus is on research and development. The company is pursuing a mixed strategy that combines internal research programs as well as business development, outside acquisitions, and expanding life-cycle opportunities across existing products.
“We have a very integrated solution for glaucoma,” Valorie said. “We recognize that there is no one-stop shop for glaucoma because all patients are not going to need the same solution. There is a need for a mix of solutions, which is why we are working on a surround-sound portfolio that leverages pharmaceutical, surgical, and diagnostic options to help you treat glaucoma patients going forward.”
One of the newest additions to the B + L glaucoma portfolio may be latanoprostene bunod (LBN), the first prostaglandin analogue + nitric oxide donating moiety to be submitted for FDA marketing approval.
LBN metabolizes into latanoprost-free acid and nitric oxide with two distinct mechanisms of action. Latanoprost-free acid increases uveoscleral outflow to reduce IOP. At the same time, nitric oxide leads to a relaxation of the trabecular meshwork to increase outflow and further decrease IOP.
The company is looking forward to a response from FDA during the first half of 2016 and a product launch during the second half of the year. If approved, LBN would be the first nitric oxide donating ophthalmologic product on the market.
“B + L continues to build on our long heritage of serving eye customers and patients with eye disease,” Ms. Valorie said. “We are committed over the long term to glaucoma. The LBN project lets us take that first step. It is an opportunity we can build on and we have the firm commitment from our parent company Valeant to do so. We continue to work towards improving options across the eye care space. We have a very deep bench of dedicated people and glaucoma is in the forefront of our vision of the future.”