The “Contact Lens Rule,” implements the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act, codified at 15 U.S.C. 7601–7610, which requires that rules be issued to address the release, verification, and sale of contact lens prescriptions. Here is one part that I have a huge issue with.
(c) Verification events. A prescription is verified under paragraph (a)(2) of this section only if one of the following occurs:
(1) The prescriber confirms the prescription is accurate by direct communication with the seller;
(2) The prescriber informs the seller through direct communication that the prescription is inaccurate and provides the accurate prescription; or
(3) The prescriber fails to communicate with the seller within eight (8) business hours after receiving from the seller the information described in paragraph (b) of this section. During these eight (8) business hours, the seller shall provide a reasonable opportunity for the prescriber to communicate with the seller concerning the verification request.
Just because nobody replied back, doesn’t mean the Rx is ok….certainly not ok to send the order! This bothers me tremendously. Patients can by pass health checks for years, simply by giving bogus doctors info. I had a patient publicly call me out on the crookedness of online contact lens vendors. The sad part, is that its perfectly legal for the vendors to sell contacts to without actually verifying if the Rx is actually correct through a time constraint loophole. Basically, if they do not get verification wihtin 8 hours, they fill the order. The work around is simply. All one does is submit a name of a random doctor and hope that doctor does not tell the vendor that they are not a patient there. There is a drop down list of doctors names. I just picked the first one and the order went trhough with out an issue. Let me make this very clear:
I was able to order contacts that are not even close to the right power, size, shape or material for my eye. Dangerous! I was able to choose a doctor whom I never heard of from a convenient drop down list.
I’m guessing the Dr. Edward Smith doesn’t exist, didn’t see the verification, or didn’t care enough to let 1800 know that I was not a patient of his. It is absolutely crazy to think that if the vendor hears nothing back from the doctor, they assume everything is fine and ship you the contacts!!!!!! That assumption is dangerous. A better solution is to have the patient email/fax a physical copy of the Rx that has the doctor’s name, signature, expiration date and contact info. A camera phone can easily take a pic and email it in. It would also free up the doctor’s office from having to do the verification process. The current system is a joke and easily gamed. Its a very dangerous game to play. You only have 1 set of eyes people, take care of them!