Dear Senator Cortez Masto and Senator Rosen,
I write today on behalf of my fellow Nevadans: consumers, taxpayers, workers and businesses, to ask for your support for the implementation of the FTC’s new update to the Contact Lens Rule, announced on June 23. 2020. This rule, supported by all five of the FTC Commissioners on a bi-partisan basis, took the FTC nearly five years to update, provides critical consumer protections for the millions of people who wear contact lenses across the country, ensures stronger rights to their own prescriptions, facilitates competition in the marketplace, and promotes genuine enforcement.
Lens.com, a locally founded Clark County Nevada company has provided consumers with lower prices and better customer service for their contact lens needs since 1995. As the second largest online seller of contact lenses in the country we strongly support the adoption of this change to the rule. We have worked with a bi-partisan coalition of consumer and taxpayer groups for years, including LULAC, the National Taxpayers Union, ATR and Consumer Action to urge the FTC to update their Contact Lens Rule.
The update ensures consumers get educated about their rights, get lawful access to their contact lens prescriptions, and it provides the FTC with the tools it needs to ensure the law is enforced.
The American Optometric Association and contact lens manufacturers have dedicated millions of dollars and employed hundreds of lobbyists to create a monopoly for prescribing and selling contact lenses. Their members have flagrantly broken the law, trapping their patients in a system which forces them to pay higher prices.
Now they are trying to undercut this fair and balanced FTC rule amendment in Congress by inserting language into unrelated legislation, to slow down the adoption of the rule and undercut its effectiveness. We are specifically hearing there is an effort afoot to try and pass language in the Senate Commerce Committee this summer to delay the rule. We need your help to ensure these efforts are rebuffed, that the FTC’s Contact Lens Rule amendments go into immediate effect. They are taking these steps as a direct result of the FTC’s unrelenting condemnation of their actions and dismissal of their bogus claims: they will receive no quarter from the FTC.
Millions of contact lens customers do not know their rights, do not know they can shop where they please for lenses and do not know there are other more convenient and affordable options available. This is in direct contravention of the intent of the original terms of the Contact Lens Rule. The new FTC rule requirements ensure consumers are educated about their rights and not forced, through ignorance, to overspend on their contact lens needs.
You both have strong reputations as powerful advocates for consumers in general and for Nevadans in particular. We need your voices and your help for Nevada contact lens wearers and for Nevada companies like Lens.com.
Please do everything you can to ensure the American Optometric Association and their fellow lobbyists are not successful in subverting the extraordinary efforts of so many people at the Federal Trade Commission to right this egregious wrong.
Thank you for your consideration and feel free to reach out to me with any questions.
You can read the letter in full here.