16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
As a contact lens consumer for 14+ years I had no idea until just recently that I had a right to my contact lens prescription. My parameters have been the same since I was 14 when I began wearing contacts and I have been to the eye doctor every year since. Not one time have I received my prescription and I lived in Washington, Virginia, Idaho and Utah at the time. I also had no idea that WA and UT doctors can write a prescription for 2 years. Why was I having to pay for an eye exam every year for the 11 years that I lived in WA when my parameters never changed and I wore the same brand the entire time? I often felt pressured to buy from my eye doctor after my appointment and because I had no idea that I had a right to my prescription I did. I wonder what perks my eye doctors were receiving by prescribing me with a J&J lens even when I asked if I could change brands for various reasons. I don't think it's right that my eye doctor chooses what brand I wear and then receives a perk from that manufacturer. I have no choice in the matter even if another lens would also work for me. They shouldn't be able to prescribe the item that they then sell me a few minutes later at the register when I pay for my exam. I think this acknowledgment is a great way for patients to be explicitly told their right to their prescription and inform them that you don't have to give in to the pressure from your eye doctor at the register. You can shop around and likely find better pricing from another seller. I already sign documents in the office, so having to sign one more piece of paper is worth it to me because it means that so many other consumers that didn't know they had a right to their prescription now will. Contacts are not cheap and to be able to shop around and find the best deal is important to me. Please enact this proposed rule because the benefits to the consumer (including myself) far outweigh any complaints that the doctors will raise. You shouldn't be allowed to be called a professional and yet take advantage of consumers who are unaware of their own rights.