16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995 #03997

Submission Number:
Timothy Wilson
Initiative Name:
16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
This email contains graphics, so if you don't see them, view it in your browser. VOA [redacted] Glen Allen, VA [redacted]. Dear Timothy, It is critical that you take a few minutes today to file your comments opposing the proposed FTC rule that would require you to obtain a statement from your patients that you have provided their prescription and that they can purchase their contact lenses anywhere they'd like. The comment period ends TODAY, JANUARY 30th. YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO KEEP THIS STATEMENT ON FILE FOR THREE YEARS! This will create a regulatory paperwork nightmare for doctors. The completely misguided proposed rule is backed by unscrupulous online resellers such as 1-800 Contacts. It is being promoted heavily by these online resellers. THE OTHER THING YOU MUST KNOW IS THAT THIS REGULATION WILL BE USED BY ONLINE RESELLERS TO FILE COMPLAINTS AGAINST ODs and OMDs WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE STATE BOARDS AND THE FTC FOR VIOLATIONS. YOU WILL FACE FINES AND OTHER SANCTIONS SHOULD YOU BE UNABLE TO PRODUCE THESE STATEMENTS. Every comment counts and is important. We MUST defeat this completely misguided rule designed solely to assist online resellers in stealing your business, your patients and put you at financial risk. TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY: FILE YOUR COMMENTS OPPOSING THIS RULE NOW! Thank you for taking the time to protect your profession. You may file your comments publicly or anonymously through the AOA. Respectfully, Dr. Rob Allen President Virginia Optometric Association LINK TO FTC COMMENT FORM COPY AND PASTE THIS PERSONALIZED MESSAGE INTO FTC FORM: =============================== My name is Timothy Wilson and I am a practicing doctor of optometry working in Lynchburg, Virginia. On a yearly basis, I provide care for many contact lens wearing patients. As a doctor, and in accordance with the American Optometric Association's Standards of Professional Conduct, my primary ethical responsibility is to place my patients' interest above my own. First, I would like to make clear that I comply with the requirements of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA) and the corresponding Contact Lens Rule by providing copies of contact lens prescriptions to contact lens wearing patients at the end of the contact lens fitting process. I was disappointed to learn that the FTC will not, under its existing authority, seek to more-fully address unscrupulous business practices of online contact lens sellers that have been putting the health and safety of my patients at risk for more than a decade. I oppose the new FTC proposal to require that all contact lens wearing patients sign an acknowledgement of receipt of a contact lens prescription and that I keep this form on file for years. This requirement seems to be a heavy-handed step which presupposes that all doctors of optometry are not complying with federal law. It also would seem to disrupt the doctor-patient relationship by communicating to patients that they should be wary of their physician and assume that their doctor is a violator of federal law. Additionally, while the FTC seems to dismiss the potential burden on physicians for complying with this requirement, the proposal would undoubtedly add new costs for doctors and patients. It would require an additional step in the patient engagement process, which would necessitate ongoing staff training to ensure that doctors are meeting this unprecedented requirement. It would also require that doctors maintain these patient-signed forms for a number of years for possible review at a later date. In the past, FTC has underestimated and subsequently corrected the estimated burden on physicians for complying with the Contact Lens Rule. I am concerned that the FTC is again underestimating the potential impact of these changes. In closing, let me make clear that those who violate the contact lens rule should face enforcement action. As a law-abiding, ethical doctor and as a member of a national organization -- the American Optometric Association -- that advocates for full compliance and has sought FTC guidance for its doctor education materials, I fear being penalized in a severe and ongoing way for the potential actions of a very few outliers. Accordingly, I respectfully request that the Commission look again at the costly impact of this burdensome proposal and, in doing so, give new and careful consideration to how it will harm tens of thousands of small and mid-sized eye care practices in communities across our country and serve as the basis for an utterly false and hostile presumption for my patients. Respectfully, Dr. Timothy Wilson, Optometrist