National Consumers League Letter to U.S. Senate Regarding S. 4083

Dear Chairwoman Cantwell and Ranking member Cruz,

I am writing to express my strong support for the Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act (S4083) introduced by Senators Duckworth and Boozman. This legislation represents a crucial step forward in modernizing federal regulations governing the contact lens market and ensuring the safety and well-being of millions of American consumers who rely on these essential medical devices for vision correction.

As you are well aware, the landscape of the contact lens market has evolved significantly since its inception nearly 70 years ago. Today, approximately 45 million Americans depend on contact lenses for safe and effective vision correction. However, the current federal regulations have failed to keep pace with these changes, leaving thousands of consumers vulnerable to adverse eye health outcomes each year, including keratitis, corneal scarring, ulcers, infections, and even complete vision loss.

One of the primary concerns stems from the outdated prescription verification process mandated by the Federal Trade Commission's Contact Lens Rule. The reliance on automated robocalls for prescription verification is not only inefficient but also potentially hazardous to patient safety. These robocalls often contain incomplete information, are difficult to decipher, and lack a reliable callback mechanism for correcting errors. Moreover, the prevalence of automated robocalls exacerbates the problem, making it nearly impossible for eye doctors to ensure the accuracy of contact lens prescriptions.

In light of advancements in technology and communication methods, it is imperative that we embrace more efficient and secure means of prescription verification. Electronic communication, such as email, offers a far more reliable and accessible alternative to outdated robocall systems. By requiring contact lens sellers to utilize electronic communication methods, we can enhance patient safety, streamline the verification process, and establish a verifiable paper trail for accountability purposes.

The Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act represents a commonsense approach to addressing these longstanding issues within the contact lens industry. By leveraging modern technologies and promoting transparency in prescription verification procedures, this legislation prioritizes the health and well-being of American consumers.

In conclusion, I commend your leadership in championing this critical legislation and urge your colleagues in Congress to support its swift passage. Together, we can enact meaningful reforms that safeguard the integrity of the contact lens market and protect the vision health of millions of Americans.

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to advancing public health and safety.

Sally Greenberg
Chief Executive Officer
National Consumers League
Washington, DC 20006

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