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Some Contact Lens Buyers May Get Rebates Under Settlement

November 03, 2000|From Reuters

Californians who bought disposable contact lenses from any of three major lens makers in the last 12 years are eligible for rebates and other benefits under a partial settlement to an antitrust case, state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer said Thursday.

Under the proposed settlement, which needs final court approval, CIBA Vision, a unit of Swiss health care group Novartis, will provide the rebates and benefits to consumers who bought its products as well as those made by Vistakon, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc., and Bausch & Lomb.

The deal removes CIBA Vision from ongoing antitrust suits brought by California and 31 other states against the three lens manufacturers, the American Optometric Assn. and individual optometrists. The suits alleged the defendants restricted competition in violation of antitrust laws.

Lockyer said the proposed settlement would give consumers a $35 cash rebate and discount coupons for CIBA replacement lenses.

Lens wearers who bought replacement disposable contact lenses from Vistakon, Bausch & Lomb and CIBA any time since Jan. 1, 1988, would be eligible for the benefits.

Some of the more popular brand names of lenses covered by the proposed deal are Acuvue, Surevue, SeeQuence, Focus and NuVues. A full list of brands is available at http:// www.contactlenssettlement.com.

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