GLASGOW--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Optical Express has today received an apology from Associated Newspapers for several inaccuracies they published in an article in the Daily Mail and Mail Online about lens replacement surgery earlier this year.
The article claimed that hundreds of patients were at risk of blindness due to Optical Express implanting what they claimed to be faulty lenses in patients’ eyes. In a statement that was read in open court today (Tuesday, 24 March 2015) Associated Newspapers admitted that this allegation was ‘completely untrue.’
Chairman and Chief Executive of Optical Express David Moulsdale said today:
“In getting their story wrong, the Daily Mail caused distress to our employees, our patients and significantly damaged our business. I am pleased that the Daily Mail has taken this action today and apologised for the fact that they got it wrong.
“I fully support the media’s role in our society to pursue stories that are in the best interests of the public. However, with that also comes a responsibility to make sure that every article is well researched and entirely accurate.
“We have treated over 600,000 patients for laser eye surgery in the UK alone. This makes us the market leader by a considerable distance. We could not possibly have reached this position if we were not continually delivering outstanding clinical results for our patients and exceeding their expectations.
“There is no other type of elective surgery that has such excellent outcomes and high satisfaction for patients than corrective laser eye surgery.
“However, at the same time as we have treated this huge number of patients, we have declined to treat almost the same amount. Our conservative clinical selection parameters have meant that we have refused to treat over 500,000 patients because we did not consider that they would achieve an excellent outcome.
“Those 500,000 patients we declined to treat represented potential income of over two billion pounds for the Optical Express business.
“Our clinical results, that are independently audited, speak for themselves. Over 99% of patients we treat tell us that they would recommend us to their family and friends.
“Thanks to the outstanding results we achieve, through the dedication and hard work of our clinicians, our unparalleled investment in the latest state of the art technology and our commitment to excellence in every part of our business, Optical Express remains the number one provider of corrective laser eye surgery.”
NOTES TO NEWS EDITORS:
The Statement read in court today:
My Lord, in this action I appear for the Claimants, who are the three trading companies in the Optical Express Group which owns and operates a nationwide chain of eye-care clinics.
Among the treatments offered by the claimants is lens replacement surgery to correct impaired vision. On 5 January the Daily Mail published an article, which was also published on Mail Online, under the headline "Blindness fears over eye surgery at High St clinic".
The article suggested there were fears that hundreds of patients could suffer blindness from lens replacement surgery performed by Optical Express using the Mplus X lens.
The Article further stated that safety fears over the lens had prompted more than 50 patients to join a class action law suit against Optical Express and the manufacturer of the lens.
The suggestion that the use of the Mplus X lens could cause blindness in patients is completely untrue, as was the suggestion that there were fears that it could do so.
There is no risk of blindness arising from the procedure using this lens. Optical Express took strong exception to this unfounded suggestion. It has treated hundreds of thousands of patients and not a single one of its patients has suffered blindness in consequence of their treatment.
It is also untrue for the Daily Mail to have reported that more than 50 patients had joined a class action law suit against Optical Express and the manufacturer of the Mplus X lens.
No such proceedings have been commenced.
The Defendant accepts that these allegations are wholly untrue. It has previously removed them from the online version of its article and has published in the Daily Mail and Mail Online a correction of the allegations together with an apology to Optical Express. It has also agreed to pay compensation to Optical Express and to reimburse it for its legal costs. It is here today by its solicitor to repeat its apology.
Solicitor for the Defendant
My Lord, on behalf of the Defendant, I confirm all that my friend has said. The Defendant withdraws these allegations and apologises to the Claimants for having published them.