Richmond, Virginia


Email Michael Phelan Michael Phelan on LinkedIn Michael Phelan on Facebook Michael Phelan on Avvo
Michael Phelan
Michael Phelan
Attorney • (866) 249-3164

Bausch & Lomb Continues to Struggle Because of Tainted Contact Lens Solution

Comments Off

Bausch & Lomb reported today that its fourth-quarter 2006 financial results will decline by 4% in large part because of its recall of its ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens solution. The May 2006 recall was linked to an outbreak of eye-fungus infection that could cause corneal scarring and blindness.

Separately, the eye-care company said it’s recalling 12 lots of ReNu MultiPlus lens solution that have been found to contain elevated levels of iron. The company said it believes that virtually all of the affected product, which was made about a year ago, has already been used by consumers….

The fact that the contamination was discovered after “virtually all of the affected product” was used by consumers cannot be comforting to consumers who are already scared off by B & L’s fungal keratitis scare last year.

The story of the ReNu MoistureLoc recall is, unfortunately, the same old story of a $100 million product kept on the market long after the manufacturer was on notice that the product was causing serious injury. ReNu with MoistureLoc was introduced in late 2004 and earned $100 million in sales in 2005. By July 2005, reports of Fusarium keratitis, a severe fungal infection of the cornea which could lead to corneal scarring and blindness, surfaced in Singapore and Hong Kong. B & L recalled the product from Asian markets in February 2006 BUT DID NOT WARN U.S. CONSUMERS or alert the FDA to the problem. On April 10, 2006, the FDA and the CDC issued a joint press release warning consumers and healthcare providers of the risk. Bausch & Lomb withdrew ReNu with MoistureLoc from the U.S. market on April 13, 2006 and from the worldwide market on May 15, 2006. By April 2006, the CDC was investigating cases of suspected fungal keratitis in 17 states. Hundreds of lawsuits are now pending around the country. Bausch & Lomb has no one to blame for these lawsuits but itself. That will no doubt not prevent the company from blaming its financial mess on lawyers.