OE wins apology from the Daily Mail

National newspaper accepts eye surgery blindness fear article was "completely untrue"

17 Mar 2015 by Robina Moss

Optical Express has won an apology from the Daily Mail over an article which claimed there was a risk of blindness from its eye surgery.

The Daily Mail article, published on 5 January, was headlined ‘Blindness fears over eye surgery at High Street clinic’ and suggested that the multiple risked putting its patients at risk of blindness due to its procedures and choice of lens implants.

In its apology, the Daily Mail said: “We accept that this is completely untrue and Optical Express has confirmed that none of its more than 600,000 patients has ever gone blind following any treatment at its clinics.”

The apology continued: “Our article also stated that more than 50 patients have joined a class action law suit against the lens manufacturer Oculentis and Optical Express over safety fears about the lens. In fact, no proceedings have been commenced. We apologise for these incorrect statements.”

Optical Express chairman and CEO, David Moulsdale, told OT: “It is good for our industry that the Daily Mail has recognised that it got its story wrong and has taken this action, but it is, unfortunately, not the end of the matter. The article is still available online and, even after some amendments have been made it is still, in our opinion, inaccurate and misleading to the public.”

Mr Moulsdale added: “I don’t think that there can be any more damaging accusation leveled against the market leader for corrective eye surgery than the one that the Daily Mail made in its article.

“The publication of these false claims by the Daily Mail caused unnecessary fear among members of the public and has dented confidence in procedures that we all know have transformed the sight and changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The impact of this dented confidence has been felt by our entire industry.”
Mr Moulsdale concluded: “I don’t enjoy having to spend my time with lawyers going back and forward with newspapers in order to try and correct serious and untrue claims and allegations. However, we owe it to our patients – past, present and future – to challenge articles such as this one and to make sure that the true story is always being told to the public.”

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