My $800 prescription Costa del Sol sunglasses are falling apart. I justified the purchase, banking on the reputation of Costas for durability and their lifetime warranty, knowing that if my prescription changed in time, I could just replace the lenses and keep the frames. Now the rubberized portions are breaking down and coming off the plastic stems. I don’t abuse them. I keep them in a case when not wearing them and I don’t wear them all that often in rugged outdoor activities for which they are supposedly designed.
I took them to the optician, where I bought them, and she informed me they no longer carry Costas because the quality and support have gotten so bad. The lifetime warranty has been replaced with a two year limited warranty, so I am SOL. She said the decline began when Costa was bought by the French eyeglass company, Essilor, and accelerated in 2018 when Essilor merged with Luxottica to become the single largest supplier of eyeglass lenses and frames in the world. EssilorLuxottica now owns Oakley, Ray-Ban, Chanel, Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Costas, and dozens more.
What does this have to do with the state of medicine today? It shows what corporatization does to small firms that start out producing a high quality, popular product or service. The firm loses its soul. The same thing has happened to medicine.