By Howard Ain –
Demand for contact lenses has been growing over the past decade and there are more places than ever for consumers to shop for them. A Federal Trade Commission investigation found many consumers are not able to take advantage of all that competition because of actions taken by some lens prescribers.
The FTC is proposing a rule amendment to make sure patients receive a copy of the contact lens prescription once the contact lens fitting is completed.
The proposed amendment requires lens prescribers to get a signed acknowledgment from the patient after providing a copy of the prescription. The prescriber would have to keep a copy of the signed acknowledgment for at least three years.
The Commission says, based on evidence reviewed by its staff, too many prescribers have failed to follow the law and provide portable prescriptions. It says more than 40 million U.S. consumers can benefit from contact lens competition.
Consumers can get their contact lenses in-person, from eye-care providers, optical chains, wholesale clubs, and online as well. This rule makes sure consumers have the option to shop around for better prices or more convenient refills. Many people have switched from one-year lenses to daily disposable lenses.
Prices for lenses can vary widely, but without a prescription it’s hard for consumers to shop around for the best price, service and convenience.