A chilling threat to daysoft.com
On 21st April 2006, exactly 10 years ago, the Optician journal announced the birth of daysoft.com with a leading article entitled, ‘Direct Competition’. The editorial, went straight to the heart of the matter, announcing in bold,
‘Hamilton flirts with the possibility of sparking a price war the likes of which optics has never seen’.
Then the article poses a chilling question, ‘Will the contact lens makers or the supermarkets spend millions on market share to put Daysoft out of business?’
The editor then asks, and immediately answers, ‘Does the public want a month’s worth of daily-disposables for £12.99? Absolutely’. (Ten years on a month’s supply is actually £11.98).
Hence, ten years ago, the battle lines were being clearly drawn: on the one side, the massive multi-billion spending power of the entrenched ‘optics-club’ comprising four global manufacturers and four huge UK high-street multiples and on the other side a somewhat nervous daysoft.com with its innovative integrated system of manufacture, e-commerce ordering and direct-supply logistics. As for the supposedly impartial Regulator, the General Optical Council (GOC), there was soon no doubt on which side it considered its bread was buttered and it wasn’t the side marked ‘daysoft.com’.
Well, thanks to many of you reading this. I am proud that daysoft.com not only survived, but has prospered. We took share from the giants, and we still do, despite their, at times, disreputable attempts to thwart our health growth. Today daysoft.com supplies tens of thousands of orders from around the world every month, profitably, and today we strive, unstintingly, to deliver the promises we made 10 years ago:
‘daysoft.com replaces other brands for half the price’
‘daysoft.com, delivers the healthy option – daily disposables’
I believe that daysoft.com has handsomely won the first 10 year battle but the war is not over. The optics ‘establishment’ is frustrated with us, very frustrated, because they know they cannot compete fairly. Now they are concocting new threats to daysoft.com … not least a so called Voluntary Code designed to exclude just one company, daysoft®, and by excluding us to, by implication, discredit us … but more of that later. I am on the case!
Lastly, my thanks to all daysoft.com customers … I wish we were perfect, but we keep trying.
As anyone buying daysoft® daily-disposable contact lenses will probably know this form of lens is the healthies and most convenient. Please see below a brief extract from Professor Nathan Efron who clearly shares our view.
Nathan Efron is a Research Professor in the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology, in Australia. He also holds a joint appointment in the School of Optometry and Vision Science.
I lecture extensively world-wide on contact lens related topics, and over the past few years my most requested lecture is on daily disposable lenses. I usually start by asking my audience this simple question: If there was no difference in the cost to the patient between daily, two-weekly or monthly replacement lenses, can you think of any reason why you would prescribe anything other than daily disposables? This question is typically met with a stony silence ….Of course, the reason for this silence is that it is self-evident that daily disposable lenses are the safest and most convenient form of lens wear.
Some ‘crystal ball gazing’ to finish off
I can see myself having a conversation with an optometric colleague in the year 2025 that would go something like this: “Do you remember, towards the end of the 20th century, when people used to remove their contact lenses, clean them with special solutions, place them in a little container, and put those very same lenses back into their eyes the next day? Yeuch!!”
NOW ….. 500,000,000 (five hundred million) daysoft daily-disposable contact lenses made and sold around the world. Many thanks to all our wearers, everywhere, to whom we now ship 1.5 million lenses every week.
Daysoft is an independent Scottish owned and based business which designs its own lenses and the machines it makes them on. We then sell then direct to our world-wide customers via daysoft.com giving us a unique business model, saving our customers millions of £ every year. No wonder the some Multiples attack us. They cannot compete fairly.
Kind regards, Ron
DAYSOFT LETTER PUBLISHED IN OPTICIAN MAGAZINE
GOC opens online sales consultation
In Optician 07.03.2014, there are two articles on page 7 relating to online sale/supply of contact lenses.
The first of these reports how Essilor, a major manufacturer of optical goods, has acquired Coastal.com for C$430m. This initiative is to strengthen Essilor’s position in the rapidly growing $4bn online vision care market. The report goes on to record how Essilor considers that the internet, if used properly, can drive market growth and enhance good visual health. Using the internet ‘properly’ presumably includes the direct supply to wearers across Canada and into the UK without ‘verification’ as is the Coastal.com internet-based process.
The second article reports how the GOC has opened consultation into online contact lens sales that do not comply with UK law.
The GOC’s outdated restrictive regulations make the UK sale and/or supply of orders placed by UK customers, on UK based suppliers, who then fulfil the order without ‘prescription- verification’ or by accepting an ‘electronic prescription’, illegal.
There is not a shred of evidence that the UK’s restrictive regulations protect the UK public. Indeed, by forcing up prices and inconvenience, the reverse is the more likely outcome! Market growth also suffers. The GOC’s regulations are farcical in this internet age. In Germany, for example, contact lens sales require neither a prescription nor an optician to dispense them, total deregulation.
I hope the consultation process will answer the question; Has Essilor or the GOC got it wrong?
Ron Hamilton, Executive Chairman, Daysoft Limited.
German Courts uphold daysoft® price comparison with Aquacomfort As published in Optician Journal 07.02.2014
An advertisement for daysoft® branded daily-disposable contact lenses appeared on German Wings in-flight magazine in summer 2013. The advertisement gave an annual saving of up-to Euros 449 compared to the purchase of Cibavision’s Aquacomfort Plus as advertised on-line by 4Care GmbH which is based in Kiel, Germany.
4Care complained to the German courts on the basis that the price comparison was likely to mislead consumers, since, in their opinion, daysoft daily-disposable contact lenses are not comparable to the Cibavision product. However in a written verdict published on 11th November 2013 the court dismissed the complaint in its entirety for a number of reasons including:
1) The price comparison used in the advert was fair and sufficiently informative to consumers.
2) Subjective factors such as comfort and wearability are the decisive factors in a consumer’s choice of contact lens.
3) Expensive lenses with “added extras” are no guarantee of comfort or wearability.
4) No breach of Competition Law was evident in the advertisement.
2013 Results: 6th February 2014. Daysoft broke through the £10 million sales level in 2013. The business is profitable and investing heavily in more capacity …. £2million between a new building extension and more production equipment. And 2014 has got off to a great start. Many thanks to our customers around the world. Kind regards Ron.
5th November 2013
Mossend Primary School children visit printers to see their Christmas card designs coming off the presses. We sent out 50,000 cards using 3 designs made by the children.
Daysoft has an Enterprise Partnership with the school and each year P6/7 visit the Laboratory to see aspects of Lens manufacture.
February 16th 2012
Extended wear… The truth is out, at long last
After more than a decade on the market, extended wear (EW) contact lenses still haven’t caught on among patients and eyecare professionals, reports Optometry and Vision Science. EW contact lenses account for less than eight per cent of contact lens prescriptions, according to the study based on an analysis of worldwide prescribing data, led by Professor Nathan Efron of Queensland University of Technology, Australia. “Extended wear prescribing has failed to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ of 15 per cent and is unlikely to become a mainstream lens wearing modality until the already low risks of ocular complications can be reduced to be equivalent to that for daily wear,” the authors concluded
December 31st 2011
CBE for Services to the Contact Lens Industry
I was indeed delighted to receive a CBE in today’s Queen’s Honours List.
Credit for this recognition belongs to very many friends and family-members but, I believe, to the many Daysoft customers from around the world who purchase from us. Many thanks and very best wishes for a wonderful 2012. Kind regards Ron
November 3rd 2011
It was wonderful to stand in the station recently and to see the Daysoft advertisement towering above the WHSmiths kiosk/shop. Many times when I was a lot younger I used to travel through to the station to train spot and never ever thought that I would see a big poster by a company I would one day set-up.
September 26th 2011
New Building Expansion
September saw another important mile-stone in the development of Daysoft with the building of a new Despatch Building. Always trying to keep costs down, this new building links directly into the Production Area of the Laboratory to keep handling to a minimum.
We now are planning ahead for 2 new production lines scheduled for October and November. At a time when we hear a lot from the politicians about debt-fuled recession we are proud to be increasing production in our UK based facilities. Our thanks to everyone on our ever increasing customer base.
Regards, Ron, Founder & Chairman, Daysoft Group.
April 3rd 2011
There are many ways of measuring business success. The one measure we in the Daysoft Group take greatest satisfaction from is our increasing headcount. By end May we will have added 30 new employees to the daysoft team mainly at our Lab in Scotland this year. Our continued thanks to all daysoft wearers … now increasing at over 1250 each week … for supporting our business and comunity.
Kind regards, Ron.
November 24th 2010
School Visit to Daysoft
I attended Mossend Primary school, starting there 64 years ago. Every year class P7 from my old school come to our Lens Laboratory to study some aspect of manufacturing business. They are great children and I am very proud to be able to relate what we do at Daysoft to their school interest in ‘enterprise’. Ron.
Dr Mark Hegarty and Enterprise Teacher Jean Murray explained the plan for the day for the visit to the Daysoft contact lens factory in Blantyre by 50 children and 5 members of staff from Mossend Primary School on Tuesday 23rd November. The visits to Daysoft by the children in P7 is now an eagerly awaited annual event by the employees at Daysoft and an exciting outing by the children and teachers at the school.
The visit last year was about how COMPUTERS are used in the design, manufacture and sale of contact lenses by Daysoft but this year the emphasis will be on PEOPLE; how Daysoft organises various business tasks, the skills that they need to do this and, of course, to see how business can be successful and fun when people cooperate to achieve exciting goals.
The children, in groups of 10 were introduced to five different activities, from precision optical moulding, right through to how orders are received from around the world and despatched, often the same day. The children were especially interested to learn how an order for 273,000 lenses was being sent to China.
Engineers and Team Leaders shared their experiences and the tour demonstrated how a combination of individuals doing many different tasks, which, when properly organised in an open, honest and helpful way, can achieve great things.
Ms Murray says; “I thank the Daysoft staff for the time and effort in preparing for our visit. It has inspired the children and they certainly got the message that everyone has to work individually and together as a team which is what we have also been encouraging the children at school to do.”
November 24th 2010
New Sales to China
This month our first bulk sales for China were despatched … a total of 273,000 contact lenses. Daysoft sells many millions of lenses to over 25 countries for onward sale via Opticians whilst also selling to on-line suppliers in a number of other countries. The impression that UK manufacturing is old-hat is not correct. Daysoft is a UK privately owned company which designs its own lenses, the equipment used to make them and then sells them around the world.
September 26th 2010
Great Value Never Goes Unnotices – Frugal Website of the Week
Check out Daysoftglasses.com for specs costing from only £17.50 (plus £3.95) – half the price of Specsavers! This is the same brand that makes and sells mega cheap contact lenses (which I happen to wear and love) so it’s great to see them branching out into glasses.
All pairs include single vision lenses for prescriptions from -8.00D to +8.00D and prices cover frames and lenses, scratch resistant, anti reflection, thin profile lenses, UV absorbing and a case and cloth
July 31st 2010
Now Daysoft Glasses
Daysoft has a rapid growth rate. 6,000 NEW wearers buy daysoft contact lenses every month. The offer of high specification and really affordable contact lenses delivered to ones door in letter-box friendly packs is now a well proven and very popular business strategy. Now I can offer the same format applied to GLASSES on www.daysoftglasses.com Lots of contact lens wearers also use glasses so we see these as complementary, non-competing products. Now, top specification glasses with frames and lenses having all the most desirable features AND NO HIDDEN extra charges at less than half the price of Specsavers … an on-line reality from August 2010.
March 24th 2010
Thank you for 2009 Performance
Daysoft Group had a 188% rise in pre-tax profits for the year ending December 2009 to £860,000.
During 2009 sales rose by 38% to over £6.24m and we are attracting attracting over 3,000 new online customers each month.
My thanks to all those customers who made this possible.
February 1st 2010
January 2010, another record month
2010 has started well for us with a record month. We continue to work hard at providing great value contact lenses with first-class customer-care. Thank you for your support and trusting that 2010 has also started well for you. A French language website www.daysoftlentilles.fr is performing well and gets some “What our Wearers Say” in French which test our language skills a little. Kind regards
December 31st 2009
Best Wishes for 2010
As the year rapidly draws to a close it is a good time to thank all those who are customers, suppliers or employees of the Daysoft Group. Sales grew by 40% and PBT has doubled … we expect our Audited Accounts to be released in February or March 2010 and will publish details soon afterwards. In 2009 we saw our data-base of wearers jump as continued to offer good product at remarkably low prices to cutsomers arounf the world. Daysoft Limited paid cash to buy its Laboratory and invested in new technology equipment for Contact Lens Manufacture … a combined spend of over £2.5 Million. Headcount in Scotland increased by 70 new employees and Daysoft enters 2010 confident of sustained growth in sales, profit and new daysoft contact lens wearers. So, thank you to all who helped during 2009 and very best wishes to everyone for a peaceful New Year. Kind regards, Ron.
October 3rd 2009
Meet Daysie Saysoft out guide dog puppy
Week beginning 5th October is Guide Dog week and Daysoft is sponsoring the training of Daysie. We have given her her own web site where you can read about her in Pup-Dates www.DaysieDaysoft.com Thank you for supporting Daysoft by being a customer which helps us finance projects like Daysie.
Kind regards, Ron and all at Daysoft.
July 2nd 2009
We make £2.5 million investment Q1 2009
Daysoft contact lenses reaches another mile stone by investing £2.5 Million in creating more capacity and buying its building for cash.
Thanks to everyone who has supported us during our rapid growth. We are a profitable, UK based manufacturing company. We design our own contact lenses and the equipment we make them on. It is wonderful to be able to recruit more people … 35 since January and to work hard to give comfortable contact lenses at great value-for-money. Thank you for ordering daysoft contact lenses. Kind regards, Ron. Founder.
June 8th 2009
Now over 800 new wearers each week!
The success of our daysoft lenses continues to grow very strongly … thanks to all who order on us. We sell millions of lenses every month via opticians around the world (over 200 million sold this way). daysoft lenses are also available on-line with 22 million lenses having been sold online using the Switch and Save option www.daysoftlenses.com
Thank you for ordering. We have recruited another 15 employees (30 since Christmas).
March 13th 2009
Daysoft 700+ new wearers every week!
Now over 720 new wearers per week order daysoft lenses!
It is a great growth rate and everyone is delighted to see the business prosper … the Daysoft Group now have tens of thousands of internet customers and are working hard to provide a great product at an unbeatable price. We have recruited 15 new employees since January which always gives us great satisfaction, especially so in these times of recessions. Thank you for ordering our lenses for the first time and thank you to the others for their repeat purchases and Wearer Feedback. Regards, Ron
January 13th 2009
Daysoft on the Radio
daysoft is embarking on its biggest advertising initiative in the first 3 months of 2009. It will continue to appear in most UK in-flight magazines plus Google, Yahoo and FOR THE FIRST TIME … RADIO! daysoft consumer advertising initiatives now exceed any other contact lens manufacturer Look-out and Listen-in. What next? Yes there is more including a unique NHS initiative as a follow-on to our appearance in the NHS60 Book in 2008. Regards Ron
January 2nd 2009
2009 Opportunity, not Recession, knocks!
In December 2008 Daysoft sales were over 3 times those of December 2007 thereby rounding off a great year for daysoft contact lens sales. In 2009 we will continue to offer a superb range of lenses at unbeatable prices and, with your help make 2009 another great year … recession or not. Thank you for being a customer. Regards Ron
December 8th 2008
A New Sales Record
Thanks are due again to all those buying daysoft contact lenses … November 2008 has set another record for sales. Best wishes for Christmas.
November 28th 2008
Mossend Primary School, Lanarkshire
On Friday, 28 November 2008, I was at Mossend Primary School. This is the school my sisters and I attended 55 years ago and it was wonderful to be invited back to talk to the staff and pupils about business. This week is Enterprise Week so the pupils had researched great inventors and gave a series of presentation with wonderfully prepared colour posters on the life and work of Sir Robert Watson-Watt, James Young Simpson, James Goodfellow, Charles Macintosh, Sir Alexander Fleming, John Boyd Dunlop, William Murdoch, Alexander Graham Bell, John Logie Baird, James watt and Kirkpatrick Macmillan. Now, the observant reader will have noticed that these were all Scottish and the fact that this weekend is St Andrew’s day gave an extra significance to the life story of these great inventors. My talk on the development of my career and creation of daysoft contact lenses hardly came up to the shoulders of these world famous names but I had something of an edge over them in one respect … I am still alive and have a little time to do some catch-up!
Among the 300 children quietly sitting on the hall floor I am convinced there will be the inventors of tomorrow and if my talk has encouraged just one of them to “dream of better and better ways to do things” I will have made a small contribution to the economics development of our great country.
The dedication of the Enterprise Teacher, Jean Murray, and the Head Teacher, Sharon McPherson, gave me great confidence that the pupils leaving my ‘old’ school, Mossend Primary, will have the education and the ambition to do great things for themselves and for others in the proud tradition of the inventors whose life stories they so ably presented today. Many thanks for inviting me and best wishes to the inventors of tomorrow.
November 27th 2008
Daysoft on Money Saving Magpie
Moneymagpie is promoting daysoft.
Get cheaper contact lenses at Daysoft. You pay just £59.88 for a six month supply (with 32 pairs of daily disposable lenses every month).
In comparison, a six month supply of the cheapest daily lenses (with only 30 pairs a month) at Specsavers online costs £109.80 – so you could cut your costs by £49.92 or even more when you switch to Daysoft.
Some of the Moneymagpies tried out the Daysoft lenses for themselves and found that they were really comfortable to wear and simple to use. They also come in much smaller packaging, so you’re doing your bit for the environment as well as your pocket!
Thank you Moneymagpies from everyone at daysoft.
October 27th 2008
NHS 60th Birthday Book
August 6th 2008
Easy Pack Opening Video
For a ‘greener’ world and to keep costs down the daysoft team has minimised the use of plastic and metalised foil used to pack its lenses … the resulting slim-line pack also make delivery through the letter box very easy and is great for travel. Opening the ‘blister’ is also dead easy once you know the ‘knack’ . So now we have a Video online to show just how easy it is to open the ‘blister’ and to remove the lens just by using you finger tip. The lady whose hands are shown is Elaine in the daysoft Accounts department and we all thank her for her patience as the Video was made. To see it just go to www.daysoftlenses.com/easy-open-video to see the Pack-with-the-Knack! Regards, Ron
July 3rd 2008
Onwards & Upwards – June a new record
The daysoft website www.daysoftlenses.com reports continued month-on-month growth. In July it promises to introduced bigger order sizes in response to wearer feedback at same great price of under £10 per month delivered to your home or office
May 26th 2008
US Safety Review of Cleaning Solutions
On 21 May 2008 it was reported that: “Contact-lens cleaners face a US (FDA) safety review after similar products were recalled by Advanced Medical Optics Inc and Bausch & Lomb Inc because users suffered potentially blinding infections”. daysoft is the only contact lens company which does not make/sell contact lens cleaning solutions because of the risks they pose. Daily Disposable contact lenses completely avoid the need for cleaning solutions.
May 23rd 2008
May Advertising Plans
During May we will be keeping up our print advertising in 3 In-flight magazines and have a full page scheduled in Saturday Telegraph special VISION supplement due 24 May 2008. Margaret will also circulate a News Letter about our decision on Pricing … the £4.99 price for a Box of 32 contact lenses has been a great success! Again many thanks for your Orders and feedback. Regards, Ron.
May 5th 2008
A new high spring in our step this April
April has seen yet another record month. Our on-line and print advertisements help push us to an all-time high. Many thanks to all who ordered on daysoft. Regards Ron
May 2nd 2008
Today changes are being introducing to make navigation of the daysoft website simpler. The message that ‘daysoft replaces other brands for half the price’ is now well established. Detailed information on a sample of some 7 million daysoft lenses replacing Acuvue, Focus Dailies, B&L Soflens and Coopervision lenses demonstrate that the ‘replacement’ capability really works … not just for replacing other daily-disposable brands but for Monthly Replacement brands also.
April 17th 2008
Daysoft Spring Offensive
daysoft(R) is again advertising in BMI, easyJet and Ryanair in-flight magazines starting in April. If you are on business or going off on holiday please keep an eye open for our advertisements. You will see that we are increasing our International ‘reach’ with our advertisements featuring prices in Canada and the US.
March 7th 2008
A Record Month
February 2008 has surpassed all previous months with record sales. Out £4.99 price per box of 32 lenses has been a stunning success so much so that we are keeping the offer open … yes, daily disposables at a price to beat any others. Customer-care will be sending a News Letter to everyone over this weekend. Our thanks to all who made February so successful. Regards, Ron
We’ve done it again! Great Prices.
You can buy a Box of 32 daysoft daily-disposable contact lenses for just £4.99 including delivery to your home or office. A two month Pack is just £19.96.
Why clean your lenses when you can have daily-disposables … fresh, clean, comfortable lenses every day … at a lower cost?
December 25 2007
Merry Christmas and a great 2008
My wife and I have been away from the office on business (honest) since beginning of December returning at end of January 2008. We are pioneering new developments for the business which will come into being in January/February. 2007 has been a fantastic year and 2008 should see significant strategic developments ensuring that daysoft continues to be seen as an innovative and friendly company. Many thanks to all those who used ‘tell a friend’ and who provided feedback to the Customer-care team … thank you.
“2008 ? It’s going to be great”.
November 15th 2007
daysoft daily-disposables have really taken off … we always try to give you a great product and great service all at a great price. Thank you for your feedback. Regards Ron.
November 6th 2007
The 999 Offer gives another record performance
More and more people are looking to daysoft and replacing those specs! Thank you for your orders. Offer ends this weekend so please do not miss-out. Regards, Ron
November 5th 2007
Wow! What a response to our 999 offer
On Friday evening we circulated a News Letter about our 3-month for £29.98 offer ie a month of daysoft daily-disposables for under £10 … £9.99. We knew that this was a great offer but didn’t reckon on the weekend traffic it would generated … we have received more orders betrween Friday night and first thing Monday morning than we normally do in a week!! Despatch will be working flat-out this week so I hope we can keep up (Monday and Tuesday are our busiest days). Many thanks for your response.
October 10th 2007
Autumn has crept in
Shorter days and rich, red & yellow colours. So now our sunglasses offer will end this week. We extend our thanks to all those who ordered with us and the friendly team at Polaroid whom we got to know over the summer (did I say ‘summer’?).
Soon we will be thinking about a winter promotion so do keep your weather-eye open!
October 4th 2007
Today the ‘Herald’ ran an extensive article about daysoft. The emphasis on manufacturing was very good reminding readers that daysoft doesn’t just sell contact lenses but designs the lenses, the equipment they are made on and, of course, produces them also. Thank you HERALD.
August 1st 2007
The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow – be ready
Summer has not really arrived yet! So, to encourage things the team at daysoft & their friends at Polaroid put together a unique August 2007 promotional package which will knock your socks off …for just £59.97 you can purchase a 3-month Pack of daily-disposable lenses AND a pair of stylish Polaroids. If that doesn’t bring the sun out I don’t know what will. Regards Ron. PS Not many people know this, but Polaroid lenses are made in Scotland just a few miles from our contact lens Lab where we make daysoft … we are proud to be offering a great set of quality products both made in the UK.
July 20th 2007
Another ‘vote’ for daily-disposables
Regarding the dangers of wearing contact lenses in swimming pools Dr Reza Farahani, an optometrist and ophthalmology instructor at The University of Texas Medical School, described soft contact lenses as a ‘reservoir of toxicity’ and recommends using tightly sealed swimming goggles OR to wear “daily disposable contact lenses that can be thrown away immediately afterwards”
June 20th 2007
Yet another contact lens solution recall
Readers will be well aware of my views on the idea that one can ‘clean’ a soft contact lens. Simply, you cannot! Last year we saw the re-call of B&Ls MoistureLoc solutions and now Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) has announced a world-wide re-call of its MoisturePlus. This multipurpose solution has been linked to an outbreak of Acanthamoeba keratitis in the US. Dr John Lally, AMOs Vice President of R&D, just announced ‘Industry will look back in years to come and view no-rub’ as one of the poor decisions it has made’.
daily-disposables represent the healthiest form of contact lens wear and that’s why daysoft limited only make such lenses. Fresh sterile lenses every day for 21p/lens delived inc VAT … costs you more to ‘clean’ !!
May 20th 2007
Children as young as 8 can benefit from contact lenses
A recent study summarised by Perry Thakrar in OPTICIAN journal on 18 May confirms that children from as young as 8 and teenagers can benefit from wearing contact lenses. The reason for discouraging this in the past was not about any unsuitability for wearing contact lenses but because it was felt that such wearers “are not yet responsible enough to care for (ie clean) their lenses” AND that “younger children will take longer to fit and therefore cost the practice (optician) valuable chair time.”
daysoft daily-disposable contact lenses are easy to care for (they require no cleaning) and easy to fit HOWEVER the UK law bans their sale on-line even when the young person has a prescription AND the support and consent of parents (they must be over 16). Thus the huge cost saving we offer (up to £250 pa) are therefore not available to the families of young persons … I find this really tragic.
Young people are very responsible and do care about their appearance (even more so than some adults !). For sport and for avoiding the need for ‘specs’ daily-disposable contact lenses are perfect.
Please do let me know what you think about this age restriction which again falls heaviest on UK sellers such as daysoft … I think its nonsense and, in the light of this study, will seek to get the law humanised !
May 11th 2007
Recognition is always welcome! It’s Dr Ron now.
On 2 May 2007 I was very pleased to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration from Strathclyde University.
Rev. Alan McDonald, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Professor Frans van Vught, Former Rector, University of Twente, Netherlands, Ms Elish Angiolini, Lord Advocate and Ms Eddie Reader, Singer/Songwriter also received honorary degrees.
Lots of very nice things were said but I was conscious that very many people had contributed to the events mentioned, not least my wife of 43 years standing, Moya. I must also make mention all the friends and work colleagues who supported me over a period of almost 20 years whilst I developed contact lens manufacturing processes and markets. The matter of most pride is that my original company, now owned by B&L, employs over 1,000 people in Scotland whilst my latest initiatives at daysoft account for another 100+.
Thanks also to our many customers who have bought our lenses, not just in the UK but in around 25 countries. Thank you, everyone, Dr Ron !
April 24th 2007
Exhausted! Returned home last night at midnight after a very long drive. OPTRAFAIR 2007 was a great success for daysoft, giving us the chance to meet many of our Independent Opticians and to introduce new customers to our product range. It was also a lot of fun. On our first day after we had erected the Stand we all went for a bar meal and surprised Margaret by making her Customer Care Manager … a fully deserved promotion. We were also able to explain our ‘Working in Partnership Plan’ to visitors to our Stand. The Plan combines the best of contact lens fitting with the best in ordering and supply.
April 14th 2007
EasyJet & BMIBaby In-flight ads and NOW Ryanair
Already this year we have advertised in easyJet andBMIbaby inflight magazines and these have proved to be very effective. So, from 14 April we will also be in the Ryanair inflight magazine. Please do keep both eyes on the look-out for us.
Remember, daysoft contact lenses are great for air travel. Cabin air can dry your eyes … so just relax during the flight knowing you have fresh, sterile, contacts ready for when you touch-down. No messy cleaning solutions and no worry about getting bottles of the stuff through Security! It’s also nice to remember that daysoft savings to £250 pa may well pay for your next flight!
March 31st 2007
BBC World Service NEW IDEAS interview
Being a beautiful day (31 March 2007), and with a touch of Spring in the air, I decided to locate some old files stored in my garage which document my early days in contact lens development. I found a 1992 interview by Tracy Logan, BBC World Service, which was on tape so I have typed it up and it’s published here under BBC New Ideas! Now, you might wonder why I bother but I am fed up with Johnson & Johnson claiming they invented daily-disposable contact lenses and this tape pre-dates any of their ‘world-first’ claims by quite a margin! Nor did they develop the world’s first disposable packaged contact lens (another claim they like to make) … that was done by a Danish company, which J&J subsequently bought.
March 27th 2007
Makes you think…
The Guardian (March 19) and Irish Examiner (March 18) carried the story of Welsh fly-half James Hook, who scored a record 22 points against England in the final match of rugby’s Six Nations Cup, despite wearing two left contact lenses for the last 20 minutes of the game. Hook lost his right lens and mistakenly put his spare left lens in his right eye, but still went on to score two penalties and a drop goal. Makes you think … what would have happened if he had ‘verified’?
March 26th 2007
“I Spy a Bargain” by Emma Tyrell of Sunday telegraph
This Sunday, 25th March 2007, Emma Tyrrell wrote a disturbing, but not surprising article, in the Money Section of the Sunday Telegraph. It documents some of the dubious ‘devices’ used by some of the big high-street Optician Chains to frustrate the on-line sale of contact lenses.
The key to successful on-line purchase is for the wearer to have an up-to-dateContact Lens Specification for their contact lenses … and the key to frustrating this is for some unscrupulous chains to make it difficult, embarrassing and costly for wearers to get their Specification even when, by law, they are entitled to be given a written copy immediately after a successful Fitting.
All the ploys used are outlined!!! More on this later.
March 13th 2007
Thank you for your feedback
This BLOG received over 2,400 hits during the weekend in response to our News Letter, sent out on Friday evening. I really do thank you for responding to our ‘We think you should know’ message.
Whilst some of you welcome the ‘verification’ feature of our web-site the overwhelming consensus is that the uneven playing field which daysoft has to ‘bat on’ when compared to that of our overseas competitors is ‘a nonsense’. We will continue to raise the matter with the General Optical Council (which has discretion over the rules) but they appear to have no concern that they are simply driving UK wearers to non-UK suppliers. I have posted extracts in ‘Feedback’ taken from the many comments received, obviously with no identity details to ensure anonymity.
Again, many thanks for your feedback and for Ordering daysoft contact lenses.
Kind regards, Ron.
March 9th 2007
We think you should know….
Do you think:
* ‘verification’ insults your intelligence?
* should apply to UK suppliers when it does not apply to non-UK suppliers?
* that the GOC should get its lawyers to place false orders to ‘police’ UK suppliers?
March 2nd 2007
Why are lenses which need cleaning still being sold?
Daily-disposable contact lenses require no cleaning and no complicated cleaning ‘compliance’ rules. The Optician Journal 02 March 2007 reports that up to 80% of complications encountered by CL wearers can be traced to poor wearer ‘compliance’. I reckon the other 20% is due to sleeping in CLs. Why are lenses that need cleaning still being sold … simple … daily-disposables from CIBA, J&J, B&L cost too much. daysoft-direct was launched in April 2006 and brings affordability, comfort, convenience and FREEDOM fron the drudgery of ‘compliance’ and can save you up to £250 per year.
February 25th 2007
I am reading “Sir Harold Ridley and his fight for sight”
In 1940 during WW2 a British pilot was blinded when shattered fragments of his cockpit canopy were embedded in his eyes. This event led to the the discovery that the cockpit material was bio-compatible and the realisation by Ridley that it could be used to make an implantable lens inside the eye following the removal of a cataract, thereby restoring sight.
This amazing story is told in “Sir Harold Ridley and his Fight for Sight” by David J Apple.
February 22nd 2007
Valentines Day Promotion
“Harold & Maude” in Bristol said it with flowers!
Others said it with daysoft Contact Lenses.
We had the best two weeks of orders ever.
February 3rd 2007
St Valentines Day Special Offer
Today we launched our very first promotion …
3 months for price of 2 months … running up to St Valentine’s Day.
daysoft offers great value all year round but you will fall head-over-heals in love with this deal.
January 20th 2007
CIBA ecall of Silicone Hydrogel Contacts
NEWS ALERT CIBA Vision recalls selected lots of 020ptix (Air Optix)
CIBA Vision is conducting a voluntary trade-level (not consumer) recall of select lots of spherical O2Optix (lotrafilcon B) contact lenses, distributed primarily in the US, and to a lesser degree in other countries, excluding Japan. The lens is known in the UK and elsewhere in Europe as Air Optix. No other CIBA Vision lenses are involved with this recall. CIBA Vision has notified the appropriate health authorities and is currently notifying affected customers.
The company said (January 12) it was taking this action because it had identified that some lenses in these lots did not meet its standards for ion permeability, a material characteristic which contributes to lens movement on the eye.
NOTE: Above is an extract froma BCLA News Letter of 19 January 2007
January 19th 2007
Letter by Ron Hamilton in ‘OPTICIAN’
Internet supply of Contact Lenses.
On 18th December 2006 Simon Rodwell, Secretary General of the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM) wrote to Peter Coe, Chief Executive of the General Optical Council (GOC). Given that the email was then circulated throughout the industry I feel it not unreasonable that I should attempt some input to the matters raised. I should, firstly, declare that daysoft® is not an ACLM member company, having consistently refused invitations to join.
The thrust of the letter, in a rather finger drumming tone, is to again remind the GOC of the ACLM’s concerns about ‘direct supply without prescription’ and a related concern about ‘substitution’, urging action by the GOC against ‘alleged law breakers’.
I don’t know if Mr Rodwell uses the Internet or is simply being hypocritical in a number of ways:
1) Today anyone in the UK can log-on to the Internet and order J&J, CIBA, B&L or CooperVision contact lenses, to mention but four ACLM member companies. They can order any brand, change brands or order for their children regardless of age. They need give no details of their optician and none of the other details given need be ‘verified’. In some cases those ordering in this way don’t even need to pay with their order. If the ACLM members are unhappy about this they can stop it overnight by simply refusing to supply ‘offending’ companies. Why cannot the ACLM members stop this now (they can do so entirely legally)? May I suggest profit erosion?
2) The risk to the public associated with CL wear is non-compliance with cleaning routines and the failure of certain cleaning formulations to effect adequate care. One need look no further than the list of ACLM members to see the influence of the ‘solutions’ lobby. No one reading this needs reminding of the outbreak of fungal eye infection last summer with profound eye-care implications for those affected. The answer to the above is the provision of daily-disposable contact lenses at a price that is daily-affordable by the general pubic. Why do those ACLM members with the technology to do this desist? May I suggest profit erosion?
3) It is ACLM members who exploit the VAT loophole by routing lenses direct to wearers in the UK with the lenses never seeing the inside of an optician’s practice. This robs UK taxpayers of millions of pounds each year. Why cannot all the ACLM members be good corporate citizens? May I suggest profit erosion?
4) It was ACLM members who rushed to supply the Supermarkets to the detriment of their long-standing loyal customers and accelerated the need for businesses like ours to develop Internet based business models to compete? May I suggest profit erosion?
Thousands of ‘unregulated’ transactions as described above are taking place in the UK every month and the GOC has no jurisdiction over such purchases because the orders are placed with businesses based outside the UK (in some cases, with final stages of ‘fulfilment’ taking place in the UK thereby giving a UK ‘feel’ to the supply). The GOC does have jurisdiction via the Opticians Act where direct to wearer sales are contracted between a UK supplier and a UK buyer, ie ‘regulated’ supply. Regrettably, given the cost penalties resulting from the rules the GOC attaches to this ‘regulated’ supply model the UK will see more and more ‘un-regulated’ supply. This lack of a level playing field is both unfortunate and unnecessary. Recognising the above conflicting strategies, daysoft® has indicated its willingness to provide input to any discussions initiated by the GOC surrounding this issue by making available our considerable experience of Internet trading both in the UK and in International markets.
Ron Hamilton, Founder, daysoft®
December 31st 2006
Letter to Optician
This letter was written to the Optician to respond to clims msde by J&J that they were first with a daily-disposable contact lens. They were not. RSH
World-first daily-disposable contact lens.
By the ‘world first’ definition composed by Johnson & Johnson (Optician 1st December 2006, letter by Messrs Meyler and Ruston) it was not a ‘world-first’ when Neil Armstrong, on 20 July 1969, stepped onto the moon. According to them this historic landing would be little more than some media publicity and a ‘world-first’ would only occur when moon-trips are commercially available to the public via a ‘product launch’. All achievements prior to that don’t really count … surely a very selective view of the world?
J&J advertising describes 1-day Acuvue as “the world’s first contact lens designed to be worn for a day, then thrown away.” This is not true. J&J’s June 1993 Las Vegas launch was little better than old-wine in new bottles even if they were filled on ‘dedicated production lines’. The clinical article, ‘Defects in Disposable Contact Lenses Can Compromise Ocular Health’ by Effron & Veys & published in ICLC in January 1992 is relevant to an understanding of J&J’s manufacturing capabilities at that time. It is also relevant to my argument that the resulting confusion on the difference between Acuvue and 1-day Acuvue (or the lack of it) and the relative product pricing were to embroil J&J in a major US class action.
In any case, in 1992, more than a year earlier AWARD gained international media publicity following the announcement of its invention and manufacture of the world’s first daily-disposable contact lens. Product and process demonstrations were made to CL manufacturers (including an interesting visit to the AWARD Lab by J&Js VP of R&D). The patented process was recognised as inherently capable of producing good quality contact lenses of such low cost that they could be thrown away every day. Also, that year product was made available (launched) under commercial terms for testing by major UK eye-care professional groups.
As Mr Armstrong might have said; “another small step for mankind, another genuine ‘world first’”.
P.S. In early 1995 I received a call from Gary Kunkle, President of Vistakon. J&J was interested in a ‘joint agreement’ centred on AWARD’s technology … it’s a long but interesting story … in short, we turned down their $200,000 offer for the answer to 5 technical questions.
December 30th 2006
Daily disposables 10 times safer – Global Contacts Quote
Professor Nathan Efron stressed that daily disposables were known to be ten times safer than other contacts – “Researchers, eye doctors and the industry agree that daily disposables are the way forward,” said Nathan Efron going on to add that it is time to “stop trying to make dirty lenses comfortable.”
daysoft limited is the only company in the world which only makes and sell daily disposable contact lenses for the reasons outlined by Professor Efron in the above quote in ‘Global Contacts’ journal.
September 29 2006
Letter to OPTICIAN
First in Las Vegas.
I would like to respond to the letter from John Meyler and David Ruston, Directors of J&J (Optician, 26 May 2006) entitled “The world’s first daily disposable”.
To claim this ‘world first’ for J&J Messrs Meyler and Ruston give their ‘world first’ definition, namely, ‘World first claims are normally based on when products are launched and made commercially available to prescribing eye care professionals and consumers.’ They then go on to say that a J&J launch in June 1993 in Omaha and Las Vegas met this definition. What they don’t say is that this was a free-lens test market using their existing (weekly) lens made on an old process giving a very poor lens quality but presented in a new package labelled ‘1-day Acuvue’. J&J clearly fails a ‘world-first claim’ even by its own definition.
In April 1992 AWARD (a company I formed with Bill Seden) circulated a brochure throughout the optical industry announcing its invention and the existence of the first manufacturing process capable of producing contact lenses of such low cost that they could be thrown away every day … this document is the ‘birth-certificate’ of daily-disposable contact lenses.
In May 1992 Professor Nathan Effron, UMIST, having been shown the AWARD product concept, rote; “I feel that a daily-wear/daily-disposable lens system will gain wide appeal amongst patients and practitioners as being a safe and convenient modality of vision correction”. In June 1992 an article appeared in the ‘Optician’ announcing our developments. In July 1992 I was interviewed and demonstrated our product and explained the key features of our patented low-cost manufacturing process on the BBC World Service. Also that month the ‘New Scientist’ journal published similar material introducing the AWARD lens/process in an article entitled “Will a lens a day keep eye problems at bay?’ This same article quoted J&J as having ‘… no plans to change to a new technology. But it will not reveal whether it has any plans to sell a daily-disposable.’
In 1992 J&J had ‘no daily-disposable plans’. By contrast AWARD already had the product, the patents, an actual manufacturing process, the identification of the eye-care benefits and the economic case for how daily-disposables would compete with cleaning-based contact lens products. However, I do have to admit that none of our lenses had, even by June 1993, been given away Freely, Las Vegas!
Ron Hamilton, Founder, AWARD & Founder daysoft®
June 22nd 2006
Cleaning Solutions risk to eyes
ARE 2 MILLION CONSUMERS BEING FORCED TO RISK EYE HEALTH
The inventor of the daily disposable contact lens has warned that around 2 million people in the UK are being forced to put the health of their eyes at risk unnecessarily by using contact lens cleaning solution on purely ‘manufacturer product pricing grounds’.
Ron Hamilton’s comments follow the increasing number of cases in America where people using contact lens cleaning solution are contracting very serious eye infections. Some cases are so serious they could lead to blindness if not properly treated.
While the majority of recent cases stem from people using one of Bausch & Lomb Re Nu products, Ron advises that there is an inherent risk with all lens-cleaning solutions. “Protein builds up on a lens during the day and is denatured during cleaning and disinfections. This denatured protein can lead to adverse ocular responses. Add to this the fact that soft lenses are like little sponges. They absorb their weight in cleaning chemicals and then down-load them to your eye … day in day out. Some of these chemicals are now quite powerful in order to ‘simplify’ the cleaning process but there is a sting in the tail. Should we be surprised at the latest round of problems … not really? Currently some 2 million consumers in the UK use monthly lenses that require daily cleaning and I just don’t thinks it’s right or necessary.”
With it now being 15 years since the invention of the daily disposable contact lens, Ron says it is shocking that consumers are still being denied the health benefits of daily disposables largely because of the “ludicrous” high prices being charged by some manufacturers resulting in high-street prices of as much as £40 per month.
The problem has been compounded in the UK by a Which? Report that failed to realise the health issues by suggesting daily disposable lens wearers could be cleaning their contacts and getting longer use. “This silly reasoning can only be dealt with once and for all when the cost of daily-disposables is equal to the daily-‘cleaning’ process and that is entirely possible today. Fresh, sterile lenses every day? Yes! We have the technology!”
Ron initially came up with a concept of disposable lens in the 1980’s while Vice President Operations at US based eye-care company CooperVision. The concept was rejected on the basis that, even if it were technically possible, the introduction of such lenses would adversely affect the company’s highly profitable contact lens cleaning solution business.
So convinced was he of the benefits of a daily disposable lens that Ron left CooperVision to create a mini-laboratory in his back garden at his home in Southampton. For the next two years he developed and patented a unique manufacturing process and produced the world’s first daily disposable contact lens. Over 2 billion contact lenses have been made using his process inventions and today he remains as passionate about getting rid of lenses cleaning solutions as he was when he started.
February 2nd 2006
‘WHICH?’ questions for daysoft
“Which?” Magazine questions to daysoft® on Contact Lens Cleaning
The questions ‘WHICH?’ magazine posed were:
can daily disposable lenses be worn for longer than one day, YES or NO?
if YES, please say how much longer the lenses can be worn for and what cleaning processes are required and
if NO, please state the physical properties of the daily lens which means it can be worn for one day only.
Answer provided by Ron Hamilton.
The vast majority of contact lenses sold in the UK are made from soft hydrogel materials with a water content ranging from 55% to 72%. Had the manufacturing technology to make low-cost, high quality daily disposable contact lenses existed at the time of their development then cleaning solutions would never have been invented. The fact is that these materials cannot be ‘cleaned’ (other than by applying a very superficial interpretation to that process).
The eye creates protein deposits, which, with other atmospheric materials, collect on the lens surface during wear and during handling. These deposits enter the ‘open’ matrix of the lens and are not removed by rubbing, disinfecting, soaking or any other so-called ‘cleaning’ process. The build up of such materials results in an increasing level of discomfort, causing large numbers of contact lens wearers to ‘drop out’ from wearing lenses. Also, approximately 1 in 10 wearers suffer allergic reactions to cleaning solutions and, again, drop out. Most seriously of all, however, is microbial contamination of the lenses and storage cases (eg by Acanthamoeba) that is not adequately destroyed by many of the solutions on the market today.
Other contact lens manufacturers are reluctant to switch to any form of ‘disposability’ because huge profits are made from the sale of ‘cleaning’ solutions.
In 1993 I opened the first laboratory to make daily-disposable contact lenses using a completely new approach to contact lens manufacturing and which Boots Opticians marketed in 1994. In 1996 I sold my business to B&L and, following a 5 year non-compete, launched a new daily-disposable contact, daysoft®uv, which is the highest specification daily disposable lens on the market and is available in the widest power range of any other daily-disposable contact lens. We only make daily-disposable contact lenses. They are the healthiest modality of lens wear, and our aim is to make them affordable to the widest range of wearers so that they can replace “ineffective” cleaning products
The question posed is a “have you stopped beating you wife question”. Soft contact lenses are not ‘cleaned’ by any cleaning solution. Should they be ‘cleaned’? NO … they should be worn for one day and thrown away. It would be extremely foolhardy to advise cleaning and reuse of any product, let alone a ‘medical device’, when it has been prescribed by a doctor or optician for single use only. The daily-disposable modality gives the wearer the SAFETY, comfort and convenience of fresh, sterile lenses ever day.