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Texas AG Secures Action Against Unlawful Retailers

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton secured action from 37 retailers who were selling unlawful and potentially dangerous contact lenses in Texas. The businesses have made refunds available to affected people and will pay more than $140,000 in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees to the state of Texas. The AG’s Consumer Protection Division recommends that patients “always visit a licensed optometrist…for proper fitting of contact lenses.”

An investigation in March 2016 by the AG's office began after the San Antonio Police Department discovered over 20 retailers selling contact lenses without requiring prescriptions. Following information stemming from this investigation, the attorney general's office was able to find further rulebreaking from contact lens distributors, located primarily in San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. 

Read the full press release on the Texas Attorney General website. You can also find the full list of the 37 targeted store owners and wholesale distribution companies here.


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Senator Roger Wicker Questions FTC Rule

On February 14, 2018, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held the Federal Trade Commission Nominees Confirmation Hearing for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) nominees: Rohit Chopra, Noah Phillips, Christine Wilson, and Joseph Simons, who was nominated to be the commission’s chair. The nominees provided testimony on a range of issues, including antitrust laws, prescription drug pricing, credit rating agencies, and the expansive influence of big tech companies like Google and Facebook.

This clip features Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) questioning the nominees on modifications to the Contact Lens Rule currently under consideration by the FTC. 

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FDA Warns Opternative of Illegal Eye Exams

The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety is pleased to learn that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has notified Opternative that their online eye examination is in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Though APS supports the development of telehealth to offer better access to Americans, this action by the FDA further demonstrates that online applications cannot currently replace the benefit a patient receives from an in-person, comprehensive eye exam.

Our Alliance and member organizations – which include the American Optometric Association (AOA), Johnson & Johnson Vision, and CooperVision – will continue to advocate for policies that increase patient safety, promote access to quality health care and protect the doctor-patient relationship.

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J&J Offers Insight on Contact Lens Rule

Johnson & Johnson Vision President for North America, Peter Menziuso, provides his company's perspective on how the contact lens rule can continue to provide benefits to patients and promote the safe use of contact lenses.

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Dr. Brad Lane Offers Eye Health Insight

In December of 2016, during the final days of the Obama administration, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a new regulation that would force eye doctors with small practices, like ones across West Virginia, to require all contact lens-wearing patients to sign an “acknowledgment form.”

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Eye Bill Clears House, Rolls Over to Senate

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Online eye exams and prescriptions offered in Kentucky would require a real-time visit with a Kentucky eye care provider under a bill approved today in the House.

House Bill 191 sponsor Rep. Jim Gooch, R-Providence, said the bill is a patient protection measure. It was filed in response to a rise in online companies that allow individuals to get eye exams and prescriptions based on virtual eye exams taken with cell phone or computer apps.

Gooch said HB 191 would not prohibit the use of “safe technology” for online eye care in Kentucky, but would improve on it by requiring a “simultaneous,” or real-time, interaction between consumers and Kentucky-licensed optometrists or physicians who would then have to sign off on the prescription. The bill would also require someone seeking an online eye exam or prescription to have had an in-person eye exam within the previous 24 months, among other requirements.

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Bad Contact Lens Habits Lead to Eye Damage

Some 45 million Americans depend on contact lenses to correct their vision, and while contacts are very safe overall, not caring for them properly can lead to serious eye infections, health experts warn.

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Judge Upholds Ocular Telehealth Ban

A judge has dismissed Opternative's suit against South Carolina's Eye Care Consumer Protection Law, which specifically bans ocular telehealth. Several states are mulling legislation on telemedicine for eye exams.

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Contact Lens Startup Sold Fake Prescriptions

The Hubble contacts sitting in front of me are everything the ads promised: two weeks’ worth of soft, daily lenses in robin’s-egg-blue packaging. 

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