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    FTC sues 1-800 Contacts, but not for the reasons you think


    What you can do

    Dr. Steinberg says optometrists should not count on the FTC to make the changes necessary to protect patient health because its primary concern appears to be making sure consumers get the best price—not the best care. Instead, he encourages optometrists to support the AOA-backed Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act of 2016 (S 2777).

    The bill would amend the FCLCA of 2004 to require contact lens retailers to provide a toll-free telephone number and email address that prescribers can use to ask questions about a seller’s prescription verification request.

    S.B. 2777 is sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA).

    1-800 Contacts strongly opposes the bill, so much so that it formed a coalition with Costco Wholesale and Lens.com—calling themselves the Coalition for Contact Lens Consumer Choice—in order to fight it.

    In related news, 1-800 Contacts recently partnered with online refraction company Opternative to offer online prescriptions to its customers—much to the ire of optometrists across the country who claimed the companies were more concerned with a healthy bottom line than the health of their patients. 

    Related: 1-800 Contacts now offers Opternative refraction to its customers

    Dr. Sonsino says he hopes consumers ultimately hold the companies accountable for their bad behavior, calling the deal with Opternative an attempted to further skirt contact lens prescribing rules. 

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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