16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
One of the more concerning issues with contact lens sales is the problem that some online retailers allow the patient to purchase more than a 1 year supply of contact lenses. As it stands now, contact lens prescriptions are valid for 1 year. I have had verification requests from the online retailer for a patient wanting to purchase an additional year's worth of contact lenses in the 11th month of their prescription. The merits of annual contact lens examination for ocular health are completely disregarded here. It is a fact that contact lenses are medical devices that rest on the cornea of the eye. This puts the contact lens wearing patient at risk for short and long term eye health problems including infections, ulcers, and even in severe cases, blindness. These conditions are preventable. In order to prevent such problems, periodic examination of the contact lens patient's eyes and lenses are recommended. Some online retailers are actively marketing to consumers to purchase more contact lenses when their prescription is "about to expire". Allowing practices like this to continue just states that we are more concerned about protecting the rights of the retailer to make a profit than we are about the health of the patients using these medical devices.