A little over a year ago in March 2018, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a public meeting as part of its regulatory review of the Contact Lens Rule (effective Aug. 2, 2004), associated with the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (passed by the U.S. Congress in 2003). Forums were held on an overview of the contact lens market, contact lens health and safety, competition in the contact lens market, contact lens prescription verification, contact lens prescription release and consumer choice, and potential market disruptions. Panelists included representatives from the FTC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the contact lens industry, contact lens distributors, consumer coalitions, professional organizations, and eyecare practitioners. Comments from the public were welcome by April 6, 2018, and more than 2,700 comments were received at www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/2018/01/initiative-733 .
A consideration at hand was whether or not the FTC should amend the Contact Lens Rule to require prescribers to obtain written verification from patients that they had received a copy of their prescription. Upon this writing, the FTC has still not made its position clear on any proposed amendments to the Contact Lens Rule.
We are in a period whereby healthcare and healthcare delivery are in a constant state of flux, with new models and technologies being proposed at every turn of the corner. As I commented last year, one overarching issue that I think we all agree on is the importance of maintaining patient safety—that is something of which I hope we never lose sight!