Senator grills FTC nominees about proposed Contact Lens Rule changes

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee held its nomination hearing for the president's picks to serve as new Federal Trade Commissioners. At the hearing, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) questioned nominees on the planned changes to the Contact Lens Rule and the FTC's proposed paperwork mandate.

Wicker pointed out that the current structure works—doctors are following the law and patients have choices regarding where they fill prescriptions. Accordingly, he questioned the FTC's signed acknowledgement proposal, saying that it would "put an administrative burden on people who are trying to provide eye care services."

Sen. Wicker is the latest lawmaker to weigh-in against the FTC proposal. Other lawmakers, including Sens. John Boozman, O.D. (R-Ark.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), David  Perdue (R-Ga.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), added their voices to the debate along with nearly 60 House members that signed-on to a bipartisan letter urging the FTC to scrap its burdensome proposal.

Sen. Wicker's questions come after meeting earlier this month to discuss the issue with AOA President-Elect Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., AOA Trustee Steven T. Reed, O.D., State Senator Dr. David Parker and Mississippi Optometric Association leaders and staff.

While the FTC mulls its proposal, AOA and affiliates continue to advance patient health and safety, and to ensure this harmful mandate is abandoned. But, the voices of more lawmakers are needed to make that a reality. Use AOA's Online Legislative Action Center to request your senators' opposition to the FTC mandate, or take advantage of another opportunity to provide feedback to the FTC with its upcoming Contact Lens Rule workshop.