The Executive Director of the National Consumers League wrote a letter to the FTC, recommending that the agency requires all contact lens prescribers to post a sign in their offices noting that patients have a right to a copy of their contact lens prescription immediately after their fitting. The full text of the letter can be viewed here.Read more
(ARLINGTON, Va.) - The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance) today announced that Sightbox is the organization’s newest member. Sightbox is an eye health membership service that partners with the patient and the patient’s doctor for an in-person eye health exam, vision test and contact lens fitting, to ensure the medical device is properly fitted, the prescription is verified and submitted by the doctor, and a safe and ample supply of contact lenses is delivered directly to the patient over the following twelve months.
“The Alliance is excited to welcome Sightbox as an associate member,” said Alliance Chair Deanna Alexander, O.D. “Sightbox recognizes the importance of comprehensive eye care and preserving the doctor-patient relationship so our patients continue to receive the highest quality eye care.”
Sightbox joins the Alliance as an associate member. Alliance founding members include leadership member the American Optometric Association, leadership member Johnson & Johnson Vision and associate member CooperVision. VSP joined the Alliance as a leadership member.
“We know that there is no replacement for a qualified eye care professional, and that the best quality eye care can only happen through a strong doctor-patient relationship,” said Travis Rush, CEO of Sightbox. “That is why we are proud to join the Alliance in helping to ensure that nothing gets in the way of high-quality eye care for patients.”
The Alliance was founded in 2018 to advocate for patient safety and to protect and defend the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of personalized health care decision making. For more information, please visit www.PatientSafetyToday.comRead more
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.
(ALRINGTON, Va.) - The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance) this week held its “Day on the Hill,” with vision doctors from across the United States sharing insights and data with policy makers.
Esteemed doctors of optometry representing the Alliance met with White House officials, Members of Congress, Congressional staff and health regulators, discussing the importance of maintaining a strong doctor-patient relationship, the necessity of safe, healthy and effective use of medical devices, protecting prescription integrity and regulatory enforcement.
Dr. Jim DeVleming and Dr. Jacquie Bowen met with White House staff to both President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Michael R. Pence, briefing them on the Alliance’s legislative and regulatory priorities.
As some Alliance leaders were at the White House, others went to Capitol Hill to meet with Members of Congress. Following meetings with individual Members, Alliance Chair Deanna Alexander, O.D., moderated an informative panel at the Rayburn House Office Building. The panel included Michele L. Andrews, O.D., CooperVision; Carol L. Alexander, O.D, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care; and the immediate Past-President of Contact Lens & Cornea Section of the American Optometric Association, Jeffrey Sonsino, O.D.
The panel called attention to the proposed Contact Lens Rule, which is currently under consideration by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Attendees were surprised to learn of how some online retailers bend current rules.
The panel explored the need to reform rules surrounding the prescription verification process, illustrating how rules are bent by playing a recording of a robocall from Jan. 1, 2018 – a national holiday in which most businesses are closed. This recording demonstrates retailers using computer-generated recordings that lack basic, necessary information like a patent’s name, to verify prescriptions.
As the panel pointed out, it is impossible to verify a prescription if a vision doctor is not given the name of the individual to crosscheck the prescription details. In addition, the robocall audio is nearly unintelligible even when listening intently for content. The robocall can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/2KewJxQ
The panel also shared an informational video produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which highlights the importance of proper contact lens care. In the CDC’s video, a University of Alabama football player shares his story about how improper care led to Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection of the eye. This condition has caused permanent vision loss for the patient and will require him to have a major eye procedure in an effort to restore vision.
The “Day on the Hill” and Congressional briefing concluded with panelists and Alliance champions urging attendees to encourage the FTC to consider these and other examples when finalizing the Contact Lens Rule. Following the briefing, panelists took questions from Congressional staffers.
Interested parties can access photos of Alliance champions advocating for patient safety here: http://bit.ly/2HxNaDM. Photo credit can be attributed to the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety.Read more
The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance) this week held its “Day on the Hill,” with vision doctors from across the United States sharing insights and data with policy makers. Below are several scenes from our time spent with policy makers.Read more