16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
Dear Sir/Madam, The proposed modification to the Fairness To Contact Lens Consumers rule is without merit or need. The knowledge that consumers may purchase contact lenses from a variety vendor modalities is evident by the ubiquitous consumer advertising that currently exists. Requiring contact lens prescribers to educate a consumer concerning his/her freedom to choose vendors is unnecessary and burdensome with the already frequent government regulations that must be tended to daily. As with any business or profession, there will always be individuals who will not play by the rules. However, attempting to impose additional regulations is tantamount to a teacher punishing the entire class for the bad actions of a few. Contact lenses are prescription medical devices regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration. Ironically, the Federal Trade Commission has taken a postion that contact lenses are mere commodity items that can be sold by any business, to anyone, anywhere with minimal lack of regard to the business ethics of the seller or patient safety. Our office has experienced cases where we have found online contact lens vendors attempting to evade current regulations by making multiple contact lens prescription verification for the same patient, leaving phone messages that were unintelligible, attempting to act as an authorized agent when the patient had no such knowledge, and encouraging patients to overfill prescriptions by purchasing excessive quantities. Until such safety abuses are addressed through enforcing current regulations, any additional regulations is unwarranted. I believe it imperative that the Federal Trade Commission act in the same spirit as the Food and Drug Administration in promoting consumer safety first. Consumers are well aware that they can purchase contact lenses from a variety of vendors. The proposed changes to the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers regulations is unwarranted. The only real task at hand is enforcing existing regulations and insure that vendors do not game the system through deceptive selling or prescription verification tactics and act in the interests of patient safety.