By Dean Chambers –
Congress takes up scary contact lens regulation bill
As millions of Americans get ready for their Halloween costume parties, scores of consumers have purchased nearly 100,000 pairs of “counterfeit, dangerous, and unapproved” colored contacts for their outfits. They have all been confiscated by “Double Vision,” an FDA-led campaign.
As one would expect, members of the medical lobby are using this government-led effort to drum up support for their congressional lobbying efforts so that their anti-free market bill, The Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act (CLCHPA), is passed into law.
Many years ago, if you chose to purchase contact lenses to aid your vision, you would get them from your eye doctor’s office after an examination, and pay the price asked for them. As with other products and services in our free market economy, you have choices, and independent vendors began selling contact lenses at a deeply discounted price to stimulate sales. In 2003, Congress stepped in to protect consumer rights by enacting legislation that required your eye doctor to give you a copy of your prescription, allowing you to buy your contact lenses from other vendors.
But an association of eye care practitioners and the contact lens industry wants Congress to pass legislation that will grant them a near monopoly over contact lens sales. Enactment of the proposed legislation, which is already rendered antiquated and unnecessary by available technology, would restrict consumer choices. The whole campaign to re-monopolize contact lens sales is being advanced on the basis of false claim that it is safer to buy contact lenses from the eye doctors offices rather than via independent vendors.