The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act: What does it mean to you?

In 2004, Congress passed a law that guarantees contact lens wearers the right to buy their lenses from any source -- not only their eyewear prescribers. The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act means you can compare contact lenses from different retailers based on price and convenience.

You own your prescription
The law gives you the right to a copy of your own contact lens prescription. Your prescriber must offer it to you whether you ask for it or not. This is same right eyeglass wearers have enjoyed since 1978.

No strings attached
Your prescriber cannot set conditions for providing you with a contact lens prescription. A prescriber may not:

  • Charge you a fee to provide you a printed copy of your prescription
  • Require you to buy contact lenses sold by the prescriber
  • Require you to sign a waiver or release
  • Set the expiration date of your contact lenses for less than one year without a specific medical reason

It's your choice
This law means you can purchase your contact lenses wherever you choose. You are free to shop for the lowest price and most convenient ordering and delivery options. You do not have to buy your contact lenses from your prescriber.

Your prescriber must verify your prescription
When you order contact lenses from Walgreens.com, your prescriber must respond to our verification request. If your prescriber does not respond within eight business hours, we consider your prescription verified and we will fill your order.

Fair expiration dates
Contact lens prescriptions must be valid for at least one year. Your state may establish a longer minimum prescription length. Your prescriber may only write a prescription for a period shorter than the legal minimum if it's justified by your medical health. You're protected from shorter prescriptions that force you to pay for unnecessary and costly examinations.

You're not locked into a label
You don't have to buy expensive private label contact lenses or lenses available only through your prescriber. If a manufacturer sells identical contact lenses under multiple labels, your prescription may be filled with any of those lenses. Even if your prescriber specifies a private label contact lens, you still have the right to purchase any identical lens offered by the same manufacturer.

Federal law protects you
This federal law protects you and all contact lens wearers by overriding state laws meant to limit the sale of contact lenses. The Federal Trade Commission considers violations of the law unfair or deceptive acts or practices and will enforce them as such.

Read the full text of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act.


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