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AMO Says Complete Moisture Plus is Not to Blame—It’s the Consumer’s Fault


In a stunning replay of last year’s Bausch & Lomb contact lens solution recall, another manufacturer of a solution for cleaning and storing soft contact lenses is participating in a “voluntary” recall of its product.

But this company, Advanced Medical Optics, is not going without a fight ( May 30, 2007).

Stunned by the order from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to pull their product from store shelves, AMO’s president and CEO told The Associated Press that it’s not AMO’s fault: The blame for a painful eye infection linked to AMO Complete Moisture Plus Multi-Purpose Solution falls squarely on consumers.

“It’s not a manufacturing problem or a contamination issue,” said the chief exec, James Mazzo. Instead, he claims, people infected with Acanthamoeba keratitis have handled their contact lenses improperly, such as by disinfecting them with water or wearing them while showering or swimming. So it’s their fault if the water-borne organism, if untreated, leads to permanent blindness.

Au contraire, says the CDC. According to the agency’s investigations, 58% of confirmed cases who wore soft contact lenses had used the AMO solution in the month before symptoms occurred, and 39% percent had used only that solution. Overall, the CDC calculated that soft contact lens wearers who acquired the infection were more than seven times more likely to have used AMO Complete Moisture Plus than soft contact lens wearers who did not have the infection.

Interestingly, AMO had already announced the week before that it wants to buy Bausch & Lomb, makers of ReNu with MoistureLoc, which Bausch & Lomb recalled only after an April 2006 outbreak of fusarium keratitis in Singapore. Bausch & Lomb also blames consumers for causing their own infections.

Will this be a marriage made in heaven.

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