16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
Robert G. Alianiello, O.D. [Redacted] October 22, 2015 I am writing this letter to express my concerns regarding the current laws regarding the sale of contact lenses, a medical device. I fully agree that an eye care practitioner should release a contact lens prescription when a successful fitting/evaluation has been completed. My concern lies with the way that contact lenses are currently being sold, especially through online suppliers. My office routinely receives faxed notices from online suppliers (usually 1800 Contacts) on Friday nights after midnight. The request almost always says that "their records indicate" that I am open on Saturdays, although in the ten years I've had my private practice I have not routinely had Saturday hours. Under the current law, these prescriptions are filled because I don't respond during the eight hours window I am "open" on Saturdays, even though I am closed. I always respond to their requests for my hours that I am closed on Saturdays, but they seem to "forget" this when a patient wants to order contacts on an expired prescription. I had one patient recently return to my office for a contact lens exam/evaluation after not having his eyes examined for six years. I asked where he's been buying contact lenses and he told me the online avenue he uses asked him for his doctor's name, and when he told them he couldn't spell my last name they told him to look in the phone book and give them a name of an optometrist and they'd take care of it. The current system of verification obviously is detrimental to the ocular health of the population. I also have many patients return for their yearly exam wearing a brand of lens that I didn't not prescribe. They have always gotten the lenses online and have had their prescription changed to a lens that was either less expensive or more readily available. This changing of a contact lens prescription by the online suppliers is not only illegal, it is detrimental to the ocular health of the population. My concerns with the current laws regarding the sales of contact lenses, a medical device, is shared by a majority of the optometrists practicing today and I'm sure you will hear many stories similar to mine. I appreciate your investigation into these practices and hope that the current laws can be modified to better protect the ocular health of our population. Sincerely, Robert G. Alianiello, O.D.