16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
I agree that all patients are entitled to their contact lens prescription, and only the lens curvature, brand and diameter may be dispensed by a doctors office or third party. Contact lens prescriptions are very individualized and should be treated the same way as any other medical prescription in that only a specific quantity shall be dispensed to avoid abuse by the patient. All eyes are different curves and tolerate certain materials, so no other brand should be allowed to be substituted without the doctors approval. My largest concern to my patients ocular health is when third parties use the ambiguity of this law to fill their companies own monetary needs....for example, we receive faxes from 1800 contacts in the middle of the night and on weekends to verify a patients prescription. If not correct, I let both 1800 contacts and the patient know, but 1800 contacts already has filled the order, without proper verification! They also send reminders to patients about a month before their contact lens prescription is expired, to buy another whole years prescription. Contact lens prescriptions expire for a reason...these patients need to be monitored because vision and ocular physiology changes throughout ones life. I recently saw a patient with a corneal ulcer from over wearing her contact lenses and she told me she hasn't gone to the eye doctor in over eight years because she orders online and gives them a doctors name that she didn't go to. She has been able to order contacts for all these years without a legal prescription! She also had signs of blood vessel growth from lack of oxygen to her cornea from her contact lenses. She is left with a large scar in her vision from the experience and didn't realize until now that contact lenses are medical devices to be taken seriously and not just a commodity. There needs to be a better way for third parties to verify contact lens prescriptions and encourage ocular health checks by their doctors. The rule of being able to fill a prescription if the doctor does not respond is unfair to the consumer's health and encourages dangerous sight threatening abuse of contact lenses. Thank you for your time.