Eye doctors facing new contact lens rules

Eye doctors facing new contact lens rules
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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is turning its glare toward eye doctors.

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Eye doctors would face new prescription requirements under proposed changes to the contact lens rule. Under current law, eye doctors must provide patients with a copy of their prescription, but critics allege some do not follow this requirement.

So the FTC is proposing that eye doctors collect signatures from their patients to verify they provided the prescription.

Eye doctors often sell contact lenses to patients after their exams, but the intent of the rule is to give patients more options so they can shop for contacts elsewhere.

The Coalition for Contact Lens Consumer Choice, which represents online retailers that stand to gain business if the rule is more strictly enforced, praised the FTC’s proposal.

Cindy Williams, general counsel for 1-800-Contacts and a member of the coalition, called it a “major victory for contact lens consumers.”

“These changes to the rule would strengthen enforcement of consumer rights and help address the primary deficiency of the current system, that optometrists routinely fail to automatically provide their patients with a copy of their contact lens prescription,” Williams said.