16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
Much too often online retailers are dispensing contact lenses without proper verification. I have received an excessive number of expired RX from online retailers for verification with prescriptions that have expired not 2 or 3 years ago but 5 or 6 years ago. If I didn't check my fax machine several times daily, these expired RXs would be filled by those online retailers. The laws are too easy on these retailers. As health care providers we should be allowed at least 72 hours to respond to such requests for the safety and well being of the patient. Choosing to wear an extremely expired RX places the patient at risk to possible blinding bacteria and/or severe corneal damage. A patient may have glaucoma or macular degeneration, and if he or she doesn't return for annual examinations those diseases would go un-examined. This is not the proper care for the patient. I always give patients copies of their contact lenses prescriptions. However, online retailers almost harass health care providers with expired RX. We denied the refill, and that same retailer may send the exact same request multiple times in order for us to miss the chance to respond. These loop holes are damaging to everyone, mostly patients who fail to see the long-term effects of such practice. We are the health care providers. We know what's best for the patient even if the patient doesn't purchase from us. It is about the patient's safety and health. The law should be written to where online retailers are held to a tighter scrutiny.