FTC 16 CFR Part 315 Public Workshop Examining Contact Lens Marketplace And Analyzing Proposed Changes To The Contact Lens Rule
Small business owners face tremendous challenge in the face of the digital revolution. Beyond the normal day-to-day challenges faced by small business owners is the additional burden places on medical professionals to document and report in addition to treat and care for people. The requirements and regulation places on this small subset of business owners is onerous at best and crushing at worst. My understanding of FTC regulation is to protect consumers from unfair practices. If this piece of legislation would prevent an act that is a documented problem, I would support the change. This proposed law that would require prescribers to obtain a signed acknowledgement of receipt from each contact lens wearer adds excessive time, support and burden on the prescriber yet does nothing to address the true threat to consumers. Just as prescription medications are monitored by the prescriber, so too are contact lenses yet every day (literally) I am asked to approve a contact lens prescription that is different from the prescription released to the patient. Why is it not a requirement for the consumer to surrender the written prescription to the retailer selling it or return it to the prescriber before another allowance is approved through a mail order--just as one would a medication prescription? How is it that someone can make changes to their prescription online without consulting their doctor first? Phone verification of a prescription does not allow the dispenser to regulate how many lenses are sold. If you feel that contact lenses are not dangerous to the consumer, I hope your 16 year old daughter never has to have a corneal transplant like one of my patients did or your 14 year old son never finds out the hard way that he has a corneal dystrophy that precludes him from wearing contacts at all like my patient yesterday learned. Today, my daily contact lens patient revealed that he wears his daily contact lenses for 3 days at a time. As a result, he has a corneal scar and has to completely change his prescription due to corneal warpage. I fail to understand how requiring doctors to produce signed proof of release of their prescription protects them or addresses the problem of poor regulation in contact lens retail sales. If a change should be made to protect the public, please turn your attention to an area where complaints are actually being made. Patients regularly come in complaining that they cannot see out of the contact lenses they purchased online but were seeing well with their trials. Inevitably, their prescription was dispensed incorrectly. Patients rarely complain that they are not given copies of their prescription because it is automatically provided along with their glasses prescription as is OUR law. Please spend your time and energy actually protecting consumers and not overburdening their already overburdened prescribers.