Jan. 19, 2022
When Hubble launched in 2016, there was fear among some ODs that the new service would negatively impact the business of independent practice owners. Now, some optometrists are adding concerns for their patients’ eye health to their feelings about Hubble, according to a new report about the company in The New York Times by Sapna Maheshwari.
Maheshwari’s report shares patient stories, including that of Bailey Brown, a 31-year-old in Dallas, who developed a corneal ulcer in June. “When she was treated at an ophthalmologist’s office, they asked about her lenses. ‘I said Hubble and they said, ‘Oh, that’s it. You’re not the first,’” Maheshwari quotes Brown as saying.
Lauren Lodholz, OD, who practices in Lexington, Ky., told Maheshwari that patients often assume the lenses they buy from Hubble are the same as those she prescribed for them. “They see it’s a great price and see the bottom line,” Dr. Lodholz is quoted as saying.
With cost-savings top of mind, the patient makes the assumption that the quality is the same as the specific brand their OD prescribed. Sally Dillehay, OD, who was chief medical officer at a small lens company in 2016, decided right from the start of Hubble that she did not approve of the company’s approach to contact lens sales. Dr. Dillehay was approached by Hubble Co-Founder Ben Cogan to learn about the new company he was launching.
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“I told them I did not want to be involved with such a company and described in great detail why contact lenses are not generic items like socks or razors, how even small micron level changes in something such as the edge design can completely alter the fit and safety profile of a contact lens,” Dr. Dillehay, who now runs a consulting company called ClinTrialSolutions in Georgia, told Maheshwari.
Hubble, in a written response to questions sent by Maheshwari via e-mail, said, “The suggestion that Hubble is engaging in impermissible contact lens substitution is simply not based on the facts or the law, and does not reflect our business practices or the standards by which we operate.”