Fri, Feb 24, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Bausch & Lomb says lens solution to stay on shelves

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Eye-care product maker Bausch & Lomb Inc said it has no plan to withdraw its ReNu contact lens solution from Taiwan, after a series of eye infections in other countries in the region were linked to the product.

The company said the product won't be recalled because no eye infections have been discovered here.

"We urge local consumers not to panic, as the unusual incidence of fungal infection has been only reported in Singapore and Hong Kong ? besides, there is no concrete scientific proof showing that the infections were caused by our products," the company said in a statement yesterday.

Bausch & Lomb suspended sales of its ReNu contact lens solution in Hong Kong, after halting sales in Singapore following a series of eye infections reported last week.

A high proportion of the affected people were found to be users of ReNu multipurpose contact lens solution.

Most of Bausch & Lomb's products sold in the Asia-Pacific, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, are produced in the US, said Jessica Lu (魯燕芳), a sales manager at Bausch & Lomb Taiwan Ltd.

According to a preliminary investigation by the Singaporean government, most of the infections were associated with poor habits by users, such as wearing contact lenses while sleeping, or continuing to use contact lenses that should have been disposed of after a certain period of time, which raises the risk of keratitis, Lu said.

Keratitis is a corneal infection or inflammation. Prompt treatment is important, to avoid permanent eye damage.

About 700,000 to 800,000 people in Taiwan use Bausch & Lomb's product, giving the firm about a 60 percent market share, Lu said.

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