Home News AOA Responds to Updated FTC Eyeglass Rule

AOA Responds to Updated FTC Eyeglass Rule

The American Optometric Association (AOA) has responded to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issuing a 10-year Eyeglass Rule update, which will take effect starting in September 2024.

This rule mandates that eye doctors must secure a signed confirmation from patients upon the release of their eyeglass prescriptions. Additionally, it permits the electronic delivery of prescriptions, provided the patient consents to this method. The FTC says these changes aim to enhance compliance with prescription release requirements and ensure consumers have easier access to their eyeglass prescriptions.

Read about the final FTC ruling here.

AOA’s ADVOCACY AND RESPONSE

The AOA played a crucial role in the decade-long review process of the FTC Eyeglass Rule. Their advocacy efforts led to the removal of two proposed changes that were considered detrimental to eye care practices. Despite the FTC’s updates, the AOA expressed disappointment, emphasizing the need for more stringent enforcement actions against illegal sales of medical devices and online scams that compromise patient safety.

The AOA says it will soon provide member doctors compliance tools and guidance with a goal of easing burdens association with the FTC’s eyeglass rule update.

steven reed
Dr. Reed

“Too many officials and agencies remain out of touch with what we face every day in our practices, and the result can be an emboldened bureaucracy and schemes for burdensome new mandates,” says AOA President Steven T. Reed, OD. “Our AOA will never stop fighting to change that and to stand up for the doctor-patient relationship as the foundation of optometry’s essential and expanding role in health care.” 

FOCUS ON ILLEGAL MEDICAL DEVICE SALES

Alongside the Eyeglass Rule update, the AOA continues to push for a crackdown on illegal sales of medical devices, including non-prescription contact lenses sold online. These unregulated sales pose significant risks to consumer health and safety, the AOA says. The AOA is calling for stronger regulatory measures and enforcement actions to protect consumers from these dangerous practices.

ENHANCED CONSUMER PROTECTION

The FTC’s rule update aims to improve the transparency and accessibility of eyeglass prescriptions for consumers. By requiring doctors to provide prescriptions immediately after eye exams and allowing electronic delivery, the rule seeks to ensure that patients can readily obtain their prescriptions and purchase eyewear from their preferred providers, fostering greater competition and consumer choice in the marketplace.

 

Read more news from WO here.

Featured photo credit: Getty Images, shironosov

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