16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
I believe that patients are entitled to a copy of their prescription, but automatic verification (or no verification) that is often done by online sellers is to the detriment of patients' eye health. I, as well as many of my colleagues have seen cases where a contact Rx was filled by an online company when it was incorrect or expired. A few months ago I saw a patient who had been ordering contacts through 1800contacts for the past 17 years, even though he had not had an eye exam since 1998! Not only was his prescription not accurate, and he was seeing poorly, but he was lucky that he hadn't done permanent damage to his eyes, or had an undiagnosed condition, like glaucoma, that if left untreated, could cause blindness. I think it is a rareity that a pt is not allowed to receive his Rx from his doctor, but it is becoming more commonplace for online retailers to fill inaccurate or expired Rxs. People often forget that contacts are a medical device, and should be regulated similarly to prescription medications, to prevent abuse and harm to the patient. As medical professionals it is our responsibility to manage/care for our patients' health, but by allowing others who have only a financial interest in our patients, to greatly affect/control the decisions that affect their health, is irresponsible.