(WASHINGTON) – The Healthcare Alliance for Patient Safety today held a briefing in Washington, DC, for U.S. Senate policy staff on the medical dangers and safety threats posed by counterfeit contact lenses, which can cause medical conditions that lead to blindness.
A 2017 study conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration, which was published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, found that 60 percent of counterfeit lenses tested came back positive for microbial contamination, which can cause medical ailments leading to vision loss.
Policy leaders also learned at the briefing that while a significant number of these dangerous, counterfeit contact lenses are sold online from suspect retailers or seized upon being imported, some make it into local novelty stores, as was reported by Popular Science Magazine.
The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety has made it a priority to prevent the dangerous sale of counterfeit lenses, which can cause vision loss.
Dr. Mike Mayers, director of advocacy at Johnson & Johnson Vision, who sat on the panel to brief policy leaders, commented, “In today’s global marketplace, we are likely to continue to see counterfeit contact lenses become prevalent and sophisticated. We must partner with others, including our government, as a greater force to deter the growing threat of counterfeit. Today’s briefing was a step forward in growing that partnership.”
In addition to Mayers, the panel also included:
- Dr. Malvina Edyelman, Center for Device and Radiological Health, Food & Drug Administration
- Dr. Deanna Alexander, O.D., F.A.A.O., Chairwoman, Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety
- Dr. Chris Wroten, Optometrist, Bond Wroten Eye Clinic
“Counterfeit contact lenses, which can be marketed as a costume accessory or be packaged as a traditional medical device, put health and vision safety in significant danger,” said Dr. Alexander. “The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety recognizes that the sale of counterfeit medical devices to trusting patients is dangerous, and our coalition is committed to seeking action from lawmakers and regulators to end this practice.”
About the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety
The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety, founded in 2018, advocates for eye health and safety and elevates the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of personal health care decision making. Members of the Alliance for Patient Safety work together to raise awareness and protect public health. Advancing policy and collaboration between leading eye health advocates, vision innovators and trusted voices is essential to elevate patient care.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) and Johnson & Johnson Vision joined as Leadership and Charter members. CooperVision, Inc. is an Associate and Charter member. VSP joined as a Leadership member. Sightbox is an Associate member.
To become a local advocate or to get involved in protecting patient safety, visit www.patientsafetytoday.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 11th, 2018
Contact: Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety Media Team