The American Optometric Association announced its support for the Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act of 2016, introduced by Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-La.), to ensure more effective federal enforcement of contact lens patient health and prescription verification safeguards.
The bill targets an array of practices being used by some Internet sellers, according to the press release.
The AOA explained that the bill holds sellers accountable for “deceptive, abusive and illegal sales tactics,” especially those that cause patient harm and result in added health care costs.
“Safeguards like those in the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA) should be strengthened to preserve access to accurate information and the contact lenses patients need,” Cassidy said in the press release. “The Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act of 2016 will provide patients with these stronger safeguards and will modernize the way our contact lens marketplace is able to work.”
Many contact lens wearers purchase lenses through mass Internet retailers. The FCLCA requires online sellers to verify the validity of contact lens prescriptions with the patient’s doctor before fulfilling an order. Reports have been filed where some Internet sellers are not following these safety requirements.
1-800 CONTACTS opposes the legislation. They believe the AOA and major contact lens manufacturers are advocating for adding new barriers to the verification process, according to a press release from 1-800 CONTACTS.