• Academy Notebook

    News, Tips, Resources

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    WHAT’S HAPPENING

    Advocate for Ophthalmol­ogy’s Future at Mid-Year Forum 2017

    At the Mid-Year Forum, the ophthal­mology community comes together to shape its future and drive change. Join your colleagues and Academy leaders in this opportunity to directly advo­cate for your profession and patients. The opening session, “Health Policy Directions and Opportunities Under a New Administration,” will be moder­ated by Michael X. Repka, MD, MBA, medical director for the Academy’s Governmental Affairs Division. You’ll also hear panel discussions on how to implement innovative strategies for the following: digital applications and telemedicine, cybersecurity, the future for the solo practitioner, physician well-being, and public health approaches to reduce vision impairment.

    The Mid-Year Forum 2017 will be held April 26-29 at the Renaissance Down­town in Washington, D.C. The registration fee for the Mid-Year Forum increases from $200 to $250 on March 15; however, Congressional Advocacy Day (April 27) is free to all members. Register by April 11.

    For registration information, the event schedule, and more, visit aao.org/myf.

    TAKE NOTICE

    Dr. McLeod Takes the Reins at Ophthalmology

    Serving as Editor-in-Chief Elect of Ophthalmology since January 1, Stephen D. McLeod, MD, officially took over as Editor-in-Chief on March 1, succeeding George B. Bartley, MD, who headed the journal since January 2013. Of his new role, Dr. McLeod said, “With the help of a worldwide com­munity of investigators, reviewers, and editors, Ophthalmology has evolved to become the dominant forum for dissemination of the very best evidence we have today for clinical practice in ophthalmology. I very much look for­ward to working with this community to advance research and clinical care for our patients around the globe.”

    Dr. Bartley began as CEO and exec­utive director of the American Board of Ophthalmology on January 1 and will continue to serve as an editorial board member for Ophthalmology.

    2016 Year in Review: Empowering Lives, One Patient at a Time

    Academy leadership, staff, and count­less volunteers work hard to provide the best mem­ber experience. Find out what the Academy achieved in the last year on all fronts, including advocacy, education, public service, and more. 2016 Year in Review: Empowering Lives, One Patient at a Time highlights some of the Academy’s achievements:

    • How we are further enhancing the ONE Network’s leading clinical educa­tion content
    • How we fought for ophthalmology’s best interests in state and federal affairs
    • How the IRIS Registry is tapping into the power of big data to improve eye care, while easing the reporting burden for Medicare quality programs

    Visit aao.org/yearinreview.

    New Interactive Dry Eye Case: “Doctor My Eyes”

    The Academy’s latest interactive online case, “Doctor My Eyes,involves a 47-year-old white woman presenting with 3 years of dry eye symptoms. She reports a constant sensation of dryness, burning, and sensitivity to light in both eyes. Preservative-free artificial tears do not relieve her symptoms.

    The case contains valuable infor­mation about pain, such as the various pain definitions pertinent to dry eye, and an interactive pathophysiology of pain. This is the Academy’s first online interactive case that is eligible for pain management CME. When claiming credit in CME central at the end of the case, choose Pain Management in the drop-down box.

    Visit aao.org/case/doctor-my-eyes.

    ACADEMY STORE

    Ophthalmic Medical Assisting

    Now Available: Ophthalmic Medical Assisting, 6th Edition

    Improve quality of care by offering your staff comprehensive, up-to-date training. Ophthalmic Medical Assisting: An Independent Study Course, 6th Edi­tion, consists of both the textbook and online examination. This latest edition places a greater emphasis on patient interaction and includes digital access to 12 in­teractive models of the eye and 20 videos that demonstrate clin­ical techniques. Successful com­pletion of the course serves as a pre­requisite for the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant examination administered by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology.

    To purchase, visit aao.org/techs.

    Subscribe to the Brand-New Ophthalmology Retina

    The Academy’s Ophthalmology Retina, a new peer-reviewed journal focused exclusively on the latest advances in retina—from medical drug treatment and imaging to surgery, technology, and science—is now available for order. The Academy launched this new jour­nal in response to the growing volume of important clinical advances in both medical and surgical retina. During 2017, Ophthalmology Retina will be issued bimonthly, after which it will be issued monthly. Academy members: Subscribe for $299/12 issues at store.aao.org/ophthalmology-retina.html. Nonmembers: Subscribe for $350/12 issues at aao.org/retinajournal.

    MEETING MATTERS

    Registration and Hotels: Mark Your Calendar

    Starting June 28, Academy and AAOE members can register and make hotel reservations for Subspecialty Day (Nov. 10-11), as well as AAO 2017 (Nov. 11-14), held in New Orleans. On July 12, nonmembers can register and reserve hotel rooms.

    2017 Abstract Deadlines: Papers/Posters and Videos

    To present at AAO 2017 in New Orleans, you must submit abstracts online. The abstract submitter for papers/posters and videos opens March 9 and closes April 11.

    For more information, visit aao.org/presentercentral.

    Organizing a Meeting in New Orleans?

    Would you like to hold an alumni, exhibitor, or ophthalmic society event during AAO 2017? The Academy can help you secure hotel meeting spaces for your event.

    For more information, visit aao.org/meetingspace.

    D.C. REPORT

    FDA Re-creates Repackaged Biologics Policy

    After nearly 2 years of consistent pressure from the Academy, other medical societies, industry stakeholders, and patient groups, the FDA has scrapped its draft guidance restricting the use of repackaged bio­logics. It will be replaced by a new policy allowing outsourcing facili­ties and traditional compounding pharmacies to repackage biologics.

    Background. In 2015, the FDA created stringent “beyond-use” date restrictions on repackaged biologics such as Avastin, effectively eliminating access to these drugs. Avastin is frequently used to treat retinal disease, particularly patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration—the leading cause of uncorrectable vision loss among older adults. Removing Avastin from the list of available treat­ments could have an enormous effect on ophthalmology’s efforts to preserve sight. The Academy’s strategies for communicating this impact to the FDA and members of Congress included the following:

    • Helping the U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging prepare a letter outlining the problems with the restrictions on repackaged bio­logics to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    • Working with congressional champions on House and Senate let­ters to the FDA that urged the agency to abandon their one-size-fits-all approach to beyond-use dates
    • Leading a grassroots effort to inspire member advocates to press their representatives to sign the letters 

    The new plan. As a result of these efforts, the FDA conceded and is replacing the guidance with a new draft policy, which reopens the issue for public comment. The new policy will include longer beyond-use dates. However, in creating a pathway to meet this request, the FDA is placing significant testing requirements on suppliers. Because of this, the new policy will be met with some trepidation from the facilities that supply repackaged drugs.

    The Academy continues to work with federal regulators and con­gressional lawmakers to ensure that the impact of these policies on patients is clear to all stakeholders.