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Released: November 15, 2016
Consumer Action applauds proposed changes to Contact Lens Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued proposed changes to its Contact Lens Rule, the regulatory framework that implements the landmark Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act of 2003 (FCLCA). The rule promotes competition by giving consumers the right to comparison shop for contact lenses.
“Consumer Action supports the rights of consumers to choose where they want to purchase their prescription contact lenses,” said Linda Sherry of Consumer Action. “The FTC’s strong Contact Lens Rule is going to get even better with consumer-friendly tweaks.”
The FTC is proposing to require optometrists to obtain a signed acknowledgement after providing a prescription to a consumer, and to keep that acknowledgement on hand for three years. The proposed change comes because the FTC found that many contact lens wearers had no idea they were supposed to be given a copy of their lens prescription at the eye doctor’s office, even thought that has been the rule for many years.
In September 2015, the FTC sought public comment on the costs, benefits, and impact of the Contact Lens Rule as part of its periodic review of all current FTC rules and guides. The Commission received 660 comments from interested parties and stakeholders. After reviewing these comments and other evidence, the agency has determined that it would be beneficial to increase compliance with the automatic prescription release requirement.
Consumer Action encourages all interested consumers to submit comments in support of these important updates to the Contact Lens Rule. “You don’t have to write a lengthy piece,” notes Sherry. “Just speak from the heart about what the ability to save money on your lenses means to you and give a personal story if you have one.”
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