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Contact Lenses and the Federal Trade Commission

Contact Lenses and the Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) implementation of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA) through the 2004 Contact Lens Rule marked a major milestone for the promotion of consumer access to contact lenses. The Contact Lens Rule ensures that all of the below take place.

  • Eye doctors provide patients with a copy of their prescription after a contact lens fitting
  • Contact lens prescriptions are valid for at least a year
  • Contact lens sellers are required to verify the prescription with an eye doctor before distributing lenses to patients

The Contact Lens Rule increases competition and access by promoting consumers’ ability to shop around when buying their lenses. It also highlights the importance of routine vision care. However, the marketplace has changed dramatically in the more than a decade since the Rule was implemented. Today, loopholes that have evolved in the contact lens marketplace undermine the value of regular vision care, often at the expense of patients’ health and safety.