The Coalition for Patient Vision Care Safety took its message to the Federal Trade Commission Aug. 3 during the FTC’s review of the public comments on the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act of 2004.
Coalition member Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (JJVC) announced that the coalition met with FTC Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen to emphasize “the FTC’s opportunity to safeguard vision health and safety and promote consumer choice through better understanding of the risk to consumers when contact lenses are purchased without professional oversight.
“We also reiterated our concerns around the existing passive verification process by highlighting real examples of how ongoing issues have affected patients’ health, illustrating the need to modernize the process,” JJVC director of professional communications Carol L. Alexander, OD, FAAO, said in an email statement.
The American Optometric Association, also a member of the coalition, told Primary Care Optometry News that the association “is working to make contact lens patient safety and improved enforcement against illegal sales top priorities as the FTC’s contact lens rule is under a once-per-decade review.”
The AOA told PCON that two Congressional committees recently “approved report language directing the FTC to prioritize patient safety and strengthen enforcement mechanisms, a much-needed action aimed at combating illegal sales of contact lenses.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee in June approved its Fiscal Year Financial Services and General Government spending bill. The bill includes language encouraging the FTC to consider modifications to the contact lens rule that prioritize patient safety and strengthen enforcement mechanisms while coordinating with the CDC to disseminate safety information to consumers, the AOA said.
The House Appropriations Committee approved similar language, the AOA told PCON.
The Coalition for Patient Vision Care Safety comprises AdvaMed, Alcon, AOA, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision and JJVC. – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO