AOA Statement to final FTC Contact Lens Rule

The American Optometric Association (AOA) declared its opposition to the ruling announced today by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to proceed with its discredited plan to impose a new paperwork and record-keeping mandate under the Contact Lens Rule. For four years, FTC officials have been seeking to advance their plan to require doctors of optometry and ophthalmologists to secure and store contact lens prescription release acknowledgement forms, in spite of opposition from the AOA and other medical groups and bi-partisan patient health and safety leaders in Congress. The agency issued a press release earlier today to alert doctors that it had made this decision without regard to the current national public health crisis.   

"The FTC was wrong four years ago when they first proposed this destructive plan and they're wrong today in seeking to implement it," says AOA incoming President, William T. Reynolds, O.D. "More than 100 U.S. Senators and House members - Republicans and Democrats - have joined with the AOA since 2016 to fight back and we will do what it takes to increase this support going forward. This is a completely misguided attack on law-abiding frontline optometry practices that is made even more outrageous and unacceptable coming at a time when we've been providing essential, primary care to our patients through every stage of the COVID-19 public health emergency."     

Instead of responding to the pandemic by supporting tens of thousands of small health care practices serving their communities and heeding the Federal directives to ease regulatory burdens, this government agency has chosen to attack doctors and penalize patients with a destructive new paperwork and record-keeping requirement. The AOA is organizing opposition to the FTC's misguided action and will press for fairness and full accountability in the regulatory process.