In the News

Jul 18, 2016

Contact Lens Prescription Bill Would Increase Optometrists’ Market Power

By Michael McGrady –

Contact lens providers could be fined up to $40,000 per violation for filling prescriptions without first verifying them with prescribers by a modified verification process that could prolong patients’ wait times, if Congress passes a bill under consideration by the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

Under current law, prescriptions are considered to be automatically verified when a seller of contact lenses who has requested verification of a customer’s prescription receives no response from the customer’s prescriber within eight business hours, according to the Congressional Research Service’s summary of the bill.

Senate Bill 2777, the Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act of 2016, introduced by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on April 11, would prohibit automatic verification in cases when prescribers merely raise concerns about a customer’s prescription during that eight-hour period. The bill would forbid sellers from filling prescriptions until a prescriber affirmatively verifies or corrects the prescription.

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