The FTC Contact Lens Rule: cue the opinions.

Last week, the FTC held a Contact Lens Rule workshop, a daylong event where they heard suggestions, concerns, and comments regarding proposed changes to the contact lens rule.

Remind me, what is the contact lens rule?

The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumer Act of 2003 has been in place since 2004. It requires that doctors give the patient a copy of their contact lens prescriptions and regardless of where the patient purchases contacts, they will receive the exact same prescription that was prescribed.

What are some proposed changes to this rule?
One of the most debated changes at the workshop was the following:
1. Providers must have all contact lens patients sign an acknowledgement that states, “My eyecare professional provided me with a copy of my contact lens prescription at the completion of my contact lens fitting. I understand I am free to purchase contact lenses from the seller of my choice”.
2. Prescribers must also keep a copy of this signed acknowledgment for three years.

You may have guessed this but OD’s don’t like that idea and consumer group representatives do.

I’ve got opinions. Can I comment on this rule?
Yes, the commenting period will be open until April 6th and comments can be submitted online here. You get 4000 characters so make them count.

Here is a great summary of the current rule and proposed changes.

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