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Cover Focus | Jan 2018

Say Anything: Readers Comment on Their Work With Industry

In the field of ophthalmology, opinion leaders do much more than simply work with companies. Opinion leaders innovate, they liaise, they influence the opinions and practices of others, and they push today’s standards of care forward. Companies need opinion leaders to give their products more reputability. The profession of ophthalmology needs opinion leaders to propel thoughts and ideas forward. In this month’s readership survey, CRST Europe asked who has worked with industry and what are considered the essential roles of an opinion leader. Here’s what some people had to say.

Abhay R. Vasavada, MS, FRCS

• Iladevi Cataract & IOL Research Centre, Ahmedabad, India

"My experience working with industry has been positive and mutually beneficial. To me, an opinion leader’s role is to educate colleagues and to work with industry to improve products and technology. They should act as spokespeople for patients to help improve care overall.”

Detlef Holland, MD

• Augenklinik Bellevue, Kiel, Germany

"I find that an essential role of an opinion leader in ophthalmology is to provide objective feedback on the newest developments in the field.”

Michael Lawless, MBBS, FRANZCO, FRACS

• Vision Eye Institute, New South Wales, Australia

"I have had a mutually beneficial experience working with industry. As an opinion leader, it is essential to communicate unbiased information with industry and physician colleagues.”

Damien Gatinel, MD, PhD

• Rothschild Ophthalmic Foundation, Paris

"When industry and physicians agree on strategy, it is a win-win situation. As an opinion leader, it is important to provide unbiased information and to use your expertise to share knowledge with your peers. A valuable opinion leader can also fuel innovation by providing companies with new ideas and suggestions to improve their products.”

Sheraz M. Daya, MD, FACP, FACS, FRCS(Ed), FRCOphth

• Centre for Sight, East Grinstead, United Kingdom

"I have had an excellent and intellectually rewarding experience working with industry. As an opinion leader, I am able to guide the industry in terms of appropriate development of products by communicating the realistic needs of ophthalmic colleagues.”

Pavel Stodulka, MD, PhD

• Gemini Eye Clinics, Czech Republic

"I find it exciting to work with industry in the codevelopment of new devices for ophthalmic surgery. It is important for an opinion leader to share extensive knowledge and practical experience with leading-edge technologies and surgical procedures.”

Kjell U. Sandvig, MD, PhD

• Oslo Eye Center, Norway

"I have had a generally positive experience working with industry. I believe the role of an opinion leader is to lead colleagues with a balance of inspiration and critical sense, based on long-term clinical and scientific experience and skills.”

Gilles Lesieur, MD

• Ophthalmologic Center Iridis, Albi, France

"My experience working with industry has involved the development of new IOLs and instrumentation. To me, an important trait of opinion leaders in ophthalmology is to be smart when offering recommendations of new technologies.”

Arthur B. Cummings, MB ChB, FCS(SA), MMed(Ophth), FRCS(Edin)

• Wellington Eye Clinic and Beacon Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

"I have had a positive experience working with industry, but perhaps I have been fortunate to work with great companies and people. I find that an essential role of an opinion leader is to be honest and not compromise your integrity.”

Jodhbir S. Mehta, BSc(Hons), MBBS, FRCOphth, FRCS(Ed), FAMS

• Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore

"I have had a good experience working with the ophthalmic industry. I feel it is important for opinion leaders to take an unbiased approach when assessing new technologies.”