16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
As an eye care provider, I can say with full confidence that patient's eye health and vision are being compromised by the way online contact lens retailers are currently conducting business. These companies are illegally filling expired prescriptions. They are illegally substituting one brand of lenses for another. They are sending prescription verification requests on the weekend, when they know a doctor or staff member is not available to confirm or deny within the 24 hour period required before the prescription is filled regardless of accuracy. Patients report to my office almost daily for contact lens related corneal ulcers, edema, infections, and inflammation. In nearly every case, the problems arose from contact lens abuse or misuse. Substituting the prescribed lenses is not only ignorant, but potentially dangerous and sight threatening. Patient's are fit and prescribed specific contact lenses that are safe for their eyes. Furthermore, damage to the corneal and ocular surfaces can occur without the patient noticing anything is wrong, which is why contact lens prescriptions should be valid for only 1 year, requiring the patient to see a doctor before the prescription is renewed to ensure the lenses are safe and proper health is maintained.