LEADING OFF: AOA Responds to FTC’s Proposed Contact Lens Rule

The FTC’s supplemental rulemaking to the Contact Lens Rule, which was released on May 2, includes recommendations that are a result of optometry’s hard work, but they “fall short of what is needed to protect patients,” according to AOA President Samuel L. Pierce, O.D., in the AOA’s response to the updated proposed Rule.

In the response, the AOA opposes the recommendation that would require contact lens prescribers to provide, and maintain for at least three years, a signed acknowledgment after releasing a contact lens prescription to the patient. The AOA continues to work with government officials to urge the FTC to withdraw the “burdensome requirements and to target illegal contact lens sales and other anti-patient abuses.”

Regarding proposed rules for robocalls, the AOA says that while it appreciates the FTC’s acknowledgement that the calls “are being used to subvert verification rules, it remains opposed to the use of robocalls to confirm contact lens prescriptions.”

The proposed Rule includes additional requirements for retailers to address, in large part, companies that sell their own brand of lenses directly to consumers. The FTC states that attempts to substitute a lens, “including a seller’s own brand, for the prescribed lens thwarts the purpose” of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act. The AOA response notes that the “updated proposal takes aim at true and widespread contact lens retailer issues. . .”

During the 60-day comment period, the AOA says it will develop a response to the proposals. The full AOA response can be found on the AOA website ( ). OM