July 18, 2018
1 min read

AOA urges Facebook to remove Opternative ads

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The American Optometric Association has contacted Mark Zuckerberg, asking that Opternative’s advertisements be removed from Facebook.

"Given the serious nature of the FDA warning against Opternative, we wanted to ensure that you are aware that your platform is being used to advertise a company that has marketed its app-based vision test without clearance or approval required by the government, in violation of federal law," Christopher J. Quinn, OD, recent past president of the American Optometric Association, wrote in a letter to Zuckerberg.

In a previous complaint to the FDA, the AOA highlighted the lack of Opternative’s premarket approval prior to marketing and the product’s lack of a formal FDA safety and efficacy review, according to an announcement from the AOA. The FDA sent a letter to Opternative on Oct. 30, 2017, reflecting these concerns and declaring the company was in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

The FDA letter, made public on March 9, 2018, requested an immediate suspension of the commercial distribution of the Online Opternative Eye Examination Mobile Medical App device. However, Opternative continues to market its app-based vision test on Facebook, according to the AOA. Additionally, 1-800 CONTACTS is marketing Opternative’s device with advertisements stating that its online vision test is “Powered by Opternative.”

The AOA said it has informed Facebook that Opternative’s advertisements may potentially impact public health and safety. The group also requested that Facebook investigate the 1-800 CONTACTS advertisements.

“We understand that you recognize that your company is responsible for the content on your platform and that Facebook is working to address illegal sales of medical devices as well as other inappropriate content through your site,” Quinn wrote in the letter. “We are hopeful that our members will be able to report to the FDA, Congress, the news media and the public that Facebook is fully committed to a crackdown on misleading and deceptive claims and illegal operations that place the health and safety of its users at risk.”