San Diego County Optometric Society
The San Diego View
Inside this Issue:
- President’s Message
- Retina Corner
- Eye See
- CE Corner
- Volunteer Corner
- SDCOS Announcements
By Simona Grosu
Greetings and Happy New Year 2022! I hope everyone had a peaceful and meaningful holiday season!
I am honored to start the year as your new president. Serving on the executive board the last couple of years has been a great learning experience for me, and it is my privilege to give back to the society and the community of ODs, and make an impact in 2022. I am grateful for the group of doctors who stepped up to serve as executive board members, and for the rest of the board who will continue to help lead the society through another great year. This society would not exist without the relentless efforts, countless hours of volunteer time, and dedication of its board members in keeping alive and advancing the mission of SDCOS!
I would like to thank the amazing Dr. Alex Scovill for all her hard work in 2021, juggling full-time work, family with a baby, and making many tough decisions for the society while navigating the uncertainties of the COVID19 pandemic. You are an inspiration to me, and I only hope I will be able to continue to lead this society with the grace and professionalism you have.
As the new SDCOS president, I am committed to maintaining our legacy as one of the best optometric societies in the country. We are the third largest society in the state, and our membership is growing. In addition to being one of the largest in California, we are also one of the most active. We provide a wealth of continuing education opportunities to our members, with renowned speakers, making it easy and convenient to keep up with your continuing education locally. We also have many volunteer outreach programs which allow for our members to be active and give back to the community, including our Lions Optometric Vision Clinic, Monarch School Screenings, and many others. I would encourage our members to contribute to these programs, which not only make for an incredibly rewarding experience, but help to make us a strong force and presence in the San Diego!
As optometrists, it is important for us to continue support the needs and interests of our patients by reinforcing COA’s legislative efforts. Despite the challenges of COVID19, our members – together with COA and other societies in the state – stayed active and advanced the scope of practice by passing some very important laws in 2021 (AB407, AB691, AB1534, SB509) which will take effect January 1, 2022 (SB509 took effect September 22, 2021). A summary of one of the bills (AB407) is available here: https://sites.google.com/coaboard.org/childrens-vision/home. These new laws will help bridge the huge gap between the number of available doctors and the growing number of patients in need.
I look forward to everything we will accomplish together in 2022!
Investigational Treatment Options for Geographic Atrophy
By Nikolas J.S. London, MD FACS
Director of Clinical Research, Retina Consultants San Diego
Chief of Ophthalmology, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla
Happy New Year SDCOS!
Well 2022 is upon us and we are still in the midst of this pandemic. I think I speak for all of us when I say holy crap I am sick of this. Please excuse the language. At least some things are beginning to normalize slightly, likely out of exhaustion more than public health. Undoubtedly, we all eagerly anticipate the day when we can proudly reminisce about life during a pandemic. Speaking of relentless disease with no clear path to victory, I wanted to revisit the advanced form of dry AMD called geographic atrophy where RPE death leads to complete photoreceptor dysfunction and scotoma development. As a retina specialist, this disease state is extremely frustrating given the dearth of treatment options. However, we are learning, with several potential options in the works. We know that dysregulated immune function is involved, namely an overactive complement cascade. This month I wanted to revisit the drugs that we are actively studying to inhibit this overactivity.
As you may remember, the complement cascade is a series of events involving molecules with names like C3, C3b, C5, and the ultimate Membrane Attack Complex. C3 is integral to the cascade and is the target of several therapeutics. Pegcetacoplan from Apellis Pharmaceuticals is a pegylated inhibitor of complement C3. In the phase 2 study from several years ago, monthly injections significantly reduce GA growth by nearly 30%. More recently, the phase 3 OAKS and DERBY studies underperformed with GA growth reductions closer to 20%. However, 20% is better than 0, and we hope to see this drug available to us soon.
Another drug targeting C3 is NGM621 from NGM Biopharmaceuticals. This is a humanized IgG1 antibody that inhibits C3 cleavage, and is being administered every 4 or 8 weeks, compared to sham. Currently in phase 2, earlier studies were promising. The CATALINA trial is ongoing with over 300 patients enrolled.
Upstream C1Q inhibition is also being evaluated by Annexon Biosciences. ANX007 is an antigen-binding fragment that binds to C1q and blocks the downstream classical complement cascade. Phase 1 studies were encouraging, and the phase 2 ARCHER study is active and recruiting. The study is enrolling approximately 240 individuals randomly assigned to monthly or every-other-month intravitreal injections of 5 mg ANX007 or sham therapy over 12 months.
Last but not least, gene therapy is being evaluated in the treatment of GA.
GT005 from Gyroscope Therapeutics is a recombinant AAV2 vector that leads to cellular production of complement factor I (CFI). CFI is a positive regulator of the complement cascade, and the hope is that normalizing CFI levels in deficient patients, or supratherapeutic levels in non-deficient patients will minimize complement dysregulation. GT005 is delivered via subretinal injection following vitrectomy. The studies are currently enrolling, and are, perhaps, the most exciting options for our patients with a one time treatment that may lead to a lifetime of protection.
If anyone is interested in these trials, wanting to learn more or know of any patients who might benefit, please feel free to contact me and I will get the ball rolling. We are passionate about our research, and hope to help as many patients as possible.
Well, I think that is about it for this month. Thanks so much for reading. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Best wishes, and until next time,
written by Dr. Byron Y. Newman
HOW MEANINGFUL ARE DRUG EXPIRATION DATES?
As you probably already know, the expiration date is the date after which the manufacturer will no longer guarantee the full potency and safety of the drug, and that’s it. Does this mean that it is no longer potent?
Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the FDA at the request of the military, according to the Harvard Letter quoting a column in Psychopharmacology Today. With a large and expensive (about a billion dollars worth) stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing the drugs every few years. The study showed that 90% of more than 100 drugs (both RX and OTC) were perfectly good to use even as long as 15 years after the expiration date, and placing the medication in a cool place, such as a refrigerator, will help a drug remain potent for many years (exceptions may be nitroglycerin, insulin and liquid antibiotics).
A law, passed in 1979, requires drug manufacturers to stamp an expiration date on their products. One might ask if the date they select is a marketing ploy to keep you restocking your medicine cabinet and their pockets regularly. You can look at it that way, or you could look at it this way: The expiration dates are very conservative to ensure that you get everything in you paid for, and they claim that if they had to do expiration date testing for longer periods it would slow their ability to bring you new and improved formulations. One writer called it a scare tactic to eliminate older pills, which to her speaks of greed. “But,” says another writer, “it’s not the job of the FDA to be concerned about a consumer’s economic interest.”
Check out Dr. Newman’s website, www.thehumorfactory.com!!!
We are committed to helping you fulfill your CE requirements through our local virtual meetings with the support of our sponsors!
2-hour Virtual CE Thursday, January 27, 2022
Speaker: Susan Daniel, OD
Topic: Optometric treatments for visual and multi-sensory TBI symptoms & Visual evaluation and developmental treatment options for the autistic child.
Registration: 6:15 PM
Web ID: 840 0428 1658
Webinar passcode: 980002
SDCOS Members: FREE
COA/AOA Members: FREE
Sponsors: FREE Non-Members: $50
Optometrist Practice For Sale 2021 gross revenue of $505K with $158K net cash flow. The practice has modern equipment in 2 lanes, including an Optos Daytona, Topography w/Meibography, 1 Automated Lane, and iCare tonometry. The current gross is on 37 doctor hours during the week and no weekend hours. The office & optical has modern design aesthetics and is located in a growing area of Southwest Riverside County. The current doctor is looking to move out of state to be closer to family. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. (01/22).
Part-Time OD needed in Oceanside. Looking for 1-3 days a week at LensCrafters Oceanside. Paper charts. Competitive pay and production bonus. Dedicated pre-testing staff provides workup for each exam. Please Email AdamTayman@gmail.com for more information. (02/22)
Part-time Associate Optometrist– Busy optometry practice located off 805 freeway in Chula Vista looking for an associate optometrist to see patients 1-2 days per week. Work with modern computers, EHR, automated phoropter, Optos, etc. The staff is well trained and helpful. Please send your CV to Angie@VillaOptometry.com or call cell 858-260-9208 if interested. (02/22)
Optometrist Opening Part-time North County. Some Saturdays 10 am to 3 pm, occasional Wednesdays 9 am to 1 pm possibly too. Interested candidates please send resumes to email@example.com or call 760-930-9696. (01/22).
Castillejos Eye Institute is looking for a full-time optometrist, starting in January. We are a fast-paced OMD/OD practice. Hours are M-F 8-5. For the first 2-3 months the position would be mostly in the optical department prescribing glasses and contacts and performing comprehensive examinations while our optical OD is out on maternity leave, with the intent of moving to the medical side, working with the OMDs to manage ocular disease (most of our patients have advanced diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.). We are located in Chula Vista, so speaking Spanish is preferred, but you will always have a scribe to translate for you. Pay is negotiable. Please contact Alex Scovill (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or our office manager Olga Ramirez (email@example.com) to apply! (02/22).
Optometrist Wanted for Equity Ownership in Practice. Growing Practice at the Heart of San Diego with a 25+ Year Veteran of the Optometry Profession, with a successful history of growing multiple practices, is seeking a motivated, self-starter, entrepreneurial optometrist to join a growing optometry practice in City Heights. Practice is in a custom modern office setting, with great visibility, with a proven track record of success for medical practices. Working knowledge of Spanish is preferred. Opportunity to get involved (even as a New Grad) in a growing eye care practice from the ground up, earning equity toward part or full ownership. Please email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org (01/22).
Part-Time Associate – Saturday associate wanted with potential for another day. Please Email Alizadeh.email@example.com if interested (01/22).
Practice for sale: Long-time established practice for sale in La Mesa–seller wishes to retire–Seller has set a very low purchase price to facilitate an immediate sale—don’t miss out on this great opportunity to own your own practice. Contact Dr. Levy at 619-743-1442 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org (01/22).
Monarch School Screening
Lion’s Optometric Vision Clinic
VOLUNTEER DOCTORS needed for flexible shifts throughout the year. 9-1:00 pm. Monday -Friday 1805 Upas St San Diego, CA 92103. Can’t volunteer at the clinic? See patients in your office. Call 619-298-5273.
The LOVC has Reopened!!
Please call or email the clinic if you are interested in volunteering:
Alterations to the schedule to accommodate social distancing are in place and PPE will be provided for all volunteers/staff/patients.
New flooring was installed with the donation from the SDCOS 2019 golf tournament and a special thanks to Dr. Phil Smith!
Please think of the LOVC for your end of year charitable giving, visit our website: lionsvisionclinic.org
Please contact the society office at 619-663-8439.
SDCOS keeps a list of all doctors willing to speak in front of groups about various topics, do home visits for patients, and assist in student mentoring. ODs interested in the Speakers Bureau, Home Visits, Student mentoring, and Low Vision OD’s, please contact the society office at 619-663-8439 or email email@example.com
For updated information and resources regarding COVID in San Diego, please register using this link. This will sign you up to receive weekly emails from the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, including weekly tele-briefings on everything COVID.
- Click here for most recent SDCOS Board Meeting Minutes
- Click here for the 2022 CE schedule!
- Click here for COA membership benefits!
Welcome, new members!!
- Robin Drescher
- Tori Leon
Please update your information on www.eyehelp.org
Phone: 619 663 8439
Fax: 800 643 8301