Advanced Vision Research founder dies
WOBURN, Mass. Jeffrey Gilbard, 55, founder of Advanced Vision Research, died Aug. 12 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston from complications related to a bicycle accident.
Gilbard was best known for his pioneering research around dry eye disease, a condition caused by a chronic lack of moisture in the eye. He also is considered one of the first ophthalmologists and researchers to understand the correlation between nutrition and the health and wellness of the eye.
“Jeff Gilbard was an innovative, gifted ophthalmologist and researcher, who made several important contributions to our profession,” stated Edward Holland, director of Cornea Service at the Cincinnati Eye Institute. “He was the first person to understand the importance of tear film osmolarity and his development of hypotonic artificial tears containing bicarbonate and potassium is a landmark event in the treatment of dry eye disease. Dr. Gilbard was on the forefront of the treatment of ocular disease and nutritional supplements. Dr. Gilbard’s legacy will be the scientific papers he authored, the revolutionary products he developed to help patients with ocular surface and retinal disease and most notably the people whose lives he’ll continue to improve.”
“Our company is grieving the loss of its founder and our close friend, Dr. Jeffrey Gilbard,” stated Leigh Reynolds, Advanced Vision Research COO. “Over the past 12 years, I have worked closely with [Gilbard] to build AVR. Jeff’s vision for AVR to make products to prevent suffering due to dry eye and other eye diseases was very clear. We will continue his mission of improving people’s quality of life. This is what [Gilbard] would want us to do and there’s no better tribute to him than to continue his work.”
“[Gilbard] was blessed with extraordinary intellect and dedication,” commented Neil Donnenfeld, SVP global sales and marketing. “He combined the two and made a significant difference in the world. He had no greater satisfaction than to hear that one of AVR’s products helped a dry-eye sufferer — and he heard that frequently. His legacy will live on through the relief that dry-eye sufferers receive when they use one of his products. We have lost a giant of a man.”
Gilbard founded Advanced Vision Research in 1995 to market and distribute TheraTears, an over-the-counter eye drop for dry eye. TheraTears quickly became one of the best-selling eye lubricants on the market. His holistic approach to eye care included the use of nutritional supplements to improve the ocular surface and to treat and prevent retinal disease. This research resulted in additional products including TheraTears Nutrition, Macutrition and NutriDox.
The AVR executive team will led by COO Reynolds, who will continue to run the company. Donnenfeld and Ruth Webb, controller, will continue in their respective capacities.Born Feb. 19, 1954 and raised in Roslyn, N.Y., he was the son of a self-educated New York business entrepreneur Harris Gilbard and mother Frances Gilbard. He attended Brown University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude in 1975. He received his medical degree in 1979 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. He was an Intern in Internal Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center and served his Ophthalmology residency at Harvard Medical School in the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He remained at Harvard as a Heed Fellow in Cornea. He was a clinical assistant professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disease Clinic at the New England Eye Center in Boston.
Dr. Jeffrey Gilbard is survived by his beloved wife of 19 years, Liz and his three children, who he adored and nurtured. He also leaves behind his twin brother Dr. Steven M. Gilbard, his older brother Dr. Robert J. Gilbard. A memorial service will take place on Monday at 11:00 am at Temple Shir Tikva, 141 Boston Post Road, Wayland, Mass.
Diplomat, Commcare named top companies by Inc. magazine
SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. Two specialty pharmacies have earned places on a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States.
Swartz Creek, Mich.-based Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, which operates six pharmacies in the Midwest and Florida, announced Wednesday that it had made the 235th place in Inc. magazine’s 2009 Inc. 500, which ranks the country’s top private companies every year. In addition, Commcare, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based, $100 million specialty pharmacy with three locations founded in 1996, came in at 374 on the list. Commcare was profiled in the inaugural issue of Specialty Pharmacy, a new magazine within the Drug Store News group of publications.
“While coming in at 235 in the nation is an amazing achievement, the additional details are even more astounding,” Diplomat president and CEO Phil Hagerman said in a statement.
Those “additional details” include Diplomat’s number-one rank among the 43 companies listed in the healthcare category, a place among the top 10 companies ranked by total revenue and the company’s 917% growth over the last three years.
“At Diplomat, we’re proud to make Inc.’s Top 500 list,” Hagerman said. “This achievement recognizes the creativity, dedication and hard work that have gone into building Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy into what it is today.”
CVS Caremark study finds need for improvements in healthcare access, costs
WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark announced on Thursday the results of its 2009 “Health IQ” study, which underscores the need to improve health outcome, increase access and curb costs.
The study, which examined consumer attitudes and behaviors around health care and prescription usage, was commissioned in April among 2,000 consumers who report taking at least one maintenance medication. Cooper Research, a healthcare research company in Cincinnati, conducted the Internet-based study.
According to the findings, 13% of respondents were not covered by a prescription drug health insurance plan. Those under the age of 65 and those with a household income of less than $50,000 are less likely to be covered. In addition, 15% of caregivers are not covered. Roughly 1-in-10 consumers do not obtain yearly checkups, but the number jumps to 26% for those without prescription drug coverage.
The study also found that many consumers consider prescription costs to be confusing and 66% have not spoken to anyone in the past 12 months about how to save money on their prescriptions, while one-fourth of respondents said they simply don?t know who to ask. Among the one-third who have sought advice, an equal proportion spoke to their pharmacist or their doctor.
To help improve medication adherence, CVS Caremark offers its Proactive Pharmacy Care program, which is focused on helping consumers understand the benefits of taking their medicine consistently, and how they can reduce the cost.