16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995 #00484

Submission Number:
Ryan Palmer
Initiative Name:
16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
I believe the Contact Lens Rule is a protection for consumers from what could be inappropriate measures taken by some practitioners to pressure a patient into a sale. During my time in practice, this rule has many times failed to stand up to the original intent for which it was created. Contact lenses are a medical device, not a commodity. They are a form of treatment that is inserted into mucous membranes and onto tissue surface of the human eye. I have seen patients who have borrowed lenses from friends and have bought from from tertiary sources. Most disturbingly, is the trend I have experienced from third-party retailers, those who rarely show any regard for the person to whom they are selling a product. I have seen supplies received by the patient before a fax confirmation is even sent to my office. I had a patient who was contacted by email and phone by an online retailer trying to put her in a product that she had previously had problems with wearing and having good ocular health. I have witnessed scenarios where online retailers in an effort to skirt the Contact Lens Rule, encouraging patients to purchase another year-supply just before expiration. These are just a few examples to show deficit in the nature and idea of the Rule itself. Going forward, there are definitive tweaks and changes that would help the Rule with it's true definition of "patient protection". 1) Absolutely require some type of confirmation with the prescribing provider before dispensing of product to the patient. 2) Conduct snap audits of online and "volume" retailers in order to observe accuracy of business practices in addition to validity of product (some product being sold from American vendors is counterfeit. 3) Require brand of lens, parameters and wear schedule to be on all prescriptions. 4) Remove ambiguity of what constitutes a year-supply of contact lenses. Just like narcotics, we should be able to specify how many refills and or "boxes" of lenses that the patient can purchase (enough that allows the patient to wear lenses for an entire year in the parameters of the manufacturer's FDA approved wear schedule guidelines. 5) Require providers to discuss and list wear schedule with patient to avoid overwear and improper usage. Contact lenses are wonderful medical devices and contribute to great enhancement in the lifestyle of many of the patients that I have the privilege of providing care. I not only care about the eyes of my patients, but also the health and overall wellness of my patients and their families. Please adjust the current Rule to better protect our patients. Sincerely, Ryan G. Palmer, OD, FAAO Blair Eye Associates Blair, NE