The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA), signed into law in 2003, gives consumers certain rights, including increasing their ability to choose where to shop and the right to have a copy of their own contact lens prescription. In 2004, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued the Contact Lens Rule to spell out the requirements of the FCLCA. In 2020, the FTC amended the Rule.
The Rule requires prescribers to give patients a copy of their contact lens prescriptions at the end of a contact lens fitting, even if the patient doesn’t ask for it.
A patient is able to give the prescription to another seller, but if the patient doesn’t provide the prescription, the seller must verify the prescription with a doctor. If the prescriber doesn’t respond within 8 business hours, the seller is able to provide contact lenses to the patient.
The purpose of these requirements is to enhance consumer choice and competition among contact lens sellers, thereby benefitting consumers.
While the FCLCA clearly allows the use of telephone, fax, or e-mail for verifying prescriptions, the FTC has interpreted the law to also allow for robocall verification. Robocalls can impact patient safety and lead to unnecessary harm for the more than 45 million Americans who rely on contact lenses.
HCAPS encourages members of the House and Senate to pass the Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act, which will modernize the contact lens prescription verification process and make it safer for millions of contact lens wearers.