What are the biggest shifts you’ve witnessed in eye care during the past year?
The most obvious was the launch and adoption of innovative next-generation technology in cataract treatment, the change in patient flow (due to COVID safety concerns and protocols) and the increased interest in digital enablement of eye care professional (ECP) offices. Despite the disruptions in cataract surgery due to the pandemic, we continued engaging with ECPs and innovating for patients in an enhanced digital world. As telemedicine boomed, more than 6,000% in the U.S., we also saw an opportunity for heightened connectivity and efficiency to streamline care, access data and help improve patient outcomes.
How will the renewed emphasis on science, health and wellbeing impact the industry and market going forward?
I believe the challenge—and opportunity—going forward will be twofold: Expanding patient access and expanding patient choice. We must have a range of innovation and cost options available to accelerate treatment to market and get people open and able to adopt new solutions. For example, certain cataract patients want the most innovative advanced technology intraocular lenses (AT-IOLs) while others might do fine with the latest monofocal lens technologies. This will continue to be a tremendous opportunity for Alcon.
What are you most proud of from Alcon’s Market Access team?
I am proud of how the team persevered, quickly adapting new ways of working and executing against our strategic objectives during this pandemic. In the most challenging of times, we mobilized quickly to support Alcon’s essential workers, as well as our customers and their patients. Our Market Access & Reimbursement Services (MARS) team played a critical role in providing government and administrative aid resources for financial assistance to customers in the U.S. With dedicated assistance, our team has also supported customers with coding and billing for telehealth services and access to answer all questions regarding reimbursement for our products. From a HEOR (health economics & outcomes research) and strategic pricing perspective, we found ways to accelerate research, special projects, and programs that allowed us to lead the industry during these challenging times.
What do you believe is the responsibility of Alcon—and all health care companies—going forward?
Earning trust is a mandate for all companies today. Strong relationships are built by having a high degree of transparency and credibility in how and what we bring to market. Increasingly, the expectation will be evidence-based and differentiated value that health care decision makers and patients can confidently embrace. Also, we are responsible for developing best in class innovation. As the industry leader, we have the opportunity to set the standard. Patients depend on Alcon to identify, operate and innovate with integrity. We must consistently deliver excellence through the value we create to help people see brilliantly.