FTC 16 CFR Part 315 Public Workshop Examining Contact Lens Marketplace And Analyzing Proposed Changes To The Contact Lens Rule
The original Contact Lens Rule provided the consumer the power to purchase prescribed contact lenses at various outlets with the idea of reducing cost. The problem has been that many vendors do not follow the guidelines and there has not been any regulation or enforcement as described in the original guidelines. Vendors often fill orders without a current prescription or change materials/parameters as they see fit. Recently, companies such as Hubble Contacts fill prescriptions for materials not prescribed by doctors or fill prescriptions for doctors that do not even exist. Contacts lenses are a medical device and require a great deal of responsibility to be used safely and effectively. The consumer thinks that prescribing doctors are restricting their freedom or limiting the competition, but in reality, the doctors are protecting their ocular health and vision. Misuse or abuse of contact lenses can have serious complications and it should not be ignored so that online vendors can increase profits at the detriment of prescribing doctors and the patient's ocular health. The rule needs to be corrected with actual oversight and enforcement of the vendors. Until the public realizes that the vendors are not on their side, this rule will continue to be abused.