16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
As a technician, optometry student, and contact lens wearer I know how important it is that my patients wear the correct contact lens prescription. It is difficult to watch the changes in a patient's eye when they are misusing or overwearing the medical device we have prescribed to them. If contact lenses are to continue to be sold over the internet, these companies NEED to verify the prescription and adhere to its expiration dates. These devices are inserted into the eye and can dramatically affect vision if used improperly. Prescription verifications should only come during the office's open hours and each office should choose how they are best reached. I've many times received prerecorded phone calls that are impossible to listen to in a busy practice. I've called some companies to ask for future requests to be faxed, and they refuse too (despite some of their requests already coming in this way). We are more than happy to provide the patients prwscription, but it would help if the process didn't always require us to take put down everything we are doing for 5 minutes. My biggest concern is that I have patients with expired prescriptions still ordering contact lenses online. My guesses are sometimes their source is not verifying their rx. Sometimes the source has a statement from us the rx has expired but still chooses to fill. Sometimes the source will allow a year supply of lenses to be released a day before the prescription expires which is against the recommendation of our practice. These companies should be referring patients to their eye care professionals annually to be sure their contact lenses are still a great fit, meet their visual requirements, and are overall the best option for their total ocular health.