Just a few years ago, the mere mention of age –related macular degeneration (AMD) struck hopelessness in the minds of patients. Once present, the condition was unstoppable and slowly robbed patients of their useful vision. In 1999-2000, the future brightened with the release of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) that strongly suggested that nutritional supplements containing the appropriate proportion of minerals and antioxidants could reduce the impact of AMD on vision.
Eye Science Labs, LLC (“Eye Science”) , a vibrant and young company burst onto the anti-AMD nutrient market with its landmark Macular Health Formula ™ . Led by their industry veteran and CEO, Jeff Northrup, Eye Science scored impressive market recognition by gaining shelf space at CVS Pharmacy, a nationwide chain.
CEO Northrup’s introduction to anti-AMD supplements came through his own personal interest and passion about preserving vision. Through a visit to a local retinal specialist, he realized that his own medical history bore a striking resemblance to patients who would eventually develop this condition. It took AREDS 2, a follow on to the original AREDS, to confirm that more than one formula could be beneficial and that the initiation of their use need not wait until visible signs of AMD had occurred.
Already a seven-year veteran of Basic Organics, a vitamin manufacturer, Northrup set out to research a formula of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that could forestall or even prevent the occurrence of AMD and that has resulted in Eye Science. A manufacturer to the eye professions, Northrup sought to make anti-AMD vitamins a broadly available product that could be bought at any large pharmacy. Heretofore, such vitamins had been available either through doctors’ offices or through network marketing.
True to his early grassroots beginning, Northrup has built a company that retains many of those attributes. Attention to customer service, high product quality and general availability continue to be Eye Science’s high points. Northrup’s road is still a long one. The makers of Ocuvite and I-Cap are still the market leaders and are also generally available on pharmacy shelves.
It’s apparent that Northrup’s personable style and strong attention to quality and detail will make Eye Science a future player and a force to be reckoned with. Now seen in many regional ophthalmic conferences, Eye Science is an astute manufacturer that should be supported by the ophthalmic professions.
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