The ACLM was established in 1962 to publicise the work of UK manufacturers, to develop new products and to raise standards. Since then the scale and diversity of contact lens manufacturing has grown exponentially, the marketplace has become international, and the commercial pressures have become increasingly diverse.
Today the ACLM represents the manufacturers of over 95% of all prescription contact lenses and lens care products in the UK. The Association has followed much of the DTIís Trade Association model. It has an elected board, full time secretariat and regular meetings of members, technical committees and other sub-groups. It places great emphasis on collating and producing market statistics, lobbying Government departments and agencies and providing a cohesive voice for its members. The boundaries between many clinical and commercial issues have all but disappeared and so the Association uses every opportunity to combine with other optical bodies in support of the profession.
It will always be the Associationís prime objective to grow the market place and so it started a major programme in April 2001, called the ACLM Market Growth Initiative, to work in a range of ways with patients, the profession and manufacturers. Key elements are a commercial review of lifetime value, a better understanding of the profitability and loyalty of contact lens patients, commercial training, staff education and practice benchmarking.
The ACLM intends to make sure that those patients who require corrective vision have an informed view of all choices available to them and, importantly, the life changing benefits which will result.