The latest round in the industry battle over contact lens legislation is bringing in more of the consumer perspective.
The Coalition for Contact Lens Consumer Choice reported Tuesday that it now has collected the names of more than 135,000 individuals on its petition urging Congress to reject legislation “that would reduce choice and increase costs for America’s contact lens wearers.”
Coalition members include 1-800 Contacts, Lens.com and Costco Wholesale, among others. The first 70,000 petition signatures on the petition were delivered to Congress this summer, and the Coalition says an additional 65,000 signatures will be delivered to Congress in the coming weeks.
“Contact lens consumers are right to be concerned about proposed legislation that would limit their ability to buy contact lenses from their retailer of choice,” Costco senior vice president Richard Chavez said in a Coalition statement. “They are getting exactly the same lens, whether they buy it from Costco or another in-store retailer, online or from an optometrist.”
Chavez said he believes the key reason the American Optometric Association (AOA) is advocating for an overhaul of 2003’s Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA) “is to help its members capture more sales for themselves.” The proposed new legislation covering online and telephone sales of contact lenses, if approved, “would inconvenience contact lens wearers, raise prices and harm eye health,” Chavez said.