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Aussie CL company lands exclusive US supply deal

09/05/2018By Matthew Woodley
Australian contact lens company Gelflex has secured a deal to provide disposable contact lenses exclusively to the US’s largest network of independent optometry practices, Vision Source.

The deal, which is still pending FDA approval of Gelflex’s lenses, is in addition to the company’s existing agreement to supply custom lenses to the more than 3,300 practices within the Vision Source network.

Gelflex director Mr David Masel, who recently returned from a pre-launch event in California celebrating the agreement, told Insight the deal took about six months to finalise and was aided in part by Australia’s strong reputation in the contact lens industry.


“We’re excited – it’s the biggest market in the world and it’s going to give us a much stronger presence there.”
David Masel, Gelflex director

“We’re branding ourselves very heavily as an Australian contact lens company, and I think that’s a good message as Australia has an excellent reputation in the contact lens world. We’re excited – it’s the biggest market in the world and it’s going to give us a much stronger presence there,” Masel said.

“We’ve signed a deal with them and will be providing our disposable lenses to the group exclusively. There are a lot of optometrists in Vision Source who are looking for contact lenses exclusively that are not available online, especially One Day lenses. But they are also very excited about our new Enhance lenses, as many of their customers were left high and dry when they were discontinued a few years back by one of the major manufacturers.”

Merger progresses

The deal has come at a busy time for Gelflex, which is also in the process of finalising its acquisition of Australian Contact Lenses. The company has announced the establishment of a centralised customer service team to provide technical support across both product ranges from June 1, while billing, and terms and conditions will also be consolidated by this date.

“It’s going to make it easier to do business with us. We’re consolidating our technical support in Melbourne to make it more convenient for everybody – one centralised support team and one monthly statement. We are also harmonising pricing and conditions,” Masel explained.

“We’ll still run the two individual manufacturing sites because of the skill base that exists. It is going well and I think it’s going to allow us to work more closely with optometrists around the country and support them with their business.”

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In addition to the new technical support office, Gelflex is also in the process of building an online training portal to support Australian optometrists with custom lens fitting.

“The strategy really is to help their confidence with fitting custom lenses and provide access to more and more resources. The training hub will be supported by our technical support team and we feel that that’s an area in the industry that needs investment,” Masel said.

“We’ll make that investment ourselves, it won’t come at any cost to the optometrists. It’s a service we’re going to provide where they can log on, they can run different courses and get guidance and information on fitting particular types of custom lenses, access resources, and give them the confidence to fit more custom lenses.”

The training portal, which will contain videos, questionnaires and training portals, will be launched in the second half of 2018.

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