Softens was unveiled and distributed in May 1971,and Bau&ch & Lomb conducted symposia and workshops in 30 American cities to introduce the new lens care system to eyecare professionals. The first soft lens care kit consisted of a heating unit to disinfect lenses,a bottle of salt tablets and a mixing bottle. Eyecare professionals were charged S25 to attend Bausch & Lomb symposia to learn how to fit the soft contacts on patients,and they also had to pay $2,900 for a lens kit that contained a range and assortment of lenses for nearsighted patients. Some professionals complained about the high charges,causing a rift between physicians and the company. In hindsight,Bausch & Lomb officials were quoted as saying that they would have changed the way Softens was distributed in the first place. Nevertheless,by the end of 1971, 10000 American consumers were wearing Softens.
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