WASHINGTON (Nov. 10, 2016) – The R Street Institute is encouraged by the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed updates to the Contact Lens Rule. The decade-old rule was crafted to promote competition in the retail sale of contact lenses, imposing obligations on both eye-care providers and contact lens sellers. The update is designed to increase compliance with the automatic prescription-release requirement.

“It is encouraging to see the FTC recognize that market forces can find a better way to promote consumer welfare than heavy-handed regulation. Even when functioning in captivity within a heavily regulated industry like health care,” said Ashley Baker, associate fellow at the R Street Institute.” “It is essential that consumers be able to take their prescription from the office where they get an exam and shop around at other retailers. While it doesn’t take on every issue, the FTC’s efforts to modernize and expand prescription portability under the Contact Lens Rule, such as requiring notice to a patient about their right to their prescription, marks an important step forward toward greater consumer choice and accessibility.”

The commission seeks comment on these proposed amendments  which must be received on or before Jan. 30, 2017. All comments received will be posted on the FTC’s website.

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