Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act to make purchasing contact lenses online safer and more secure. The legislation would prohibit the use of automated calls (robocalls) as a method of verifying a prescription and require online contact lens sellers to allow patients to electronically upload prescriptions. It would also mandate encryption when emailing medical information protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

“Contact lens users don’t need to choose between convenience and eye health with the bipartisan Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act. Our legislation will address shortfalls in the Federal Trade Commission rule to protect consumers’ vision while ensuring their preferred access to prescriptions continues. I’m proud to join Sen. Duckworth to support both patient safety and the health professionals providing this critical service,” Boozman said.  

Approximately 45 million Americans choose contact lenses as their vision correction device – and they are safe and effective when used as prescribed. However, improper use or fit can lead to serious eye health complications, including blindness, infections and ulcers and may even require the removal of the eye. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that consumers have a valid prescription from an eye care professional, such as an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, to purchase contact lenses. Contact lens prescriptions are complicated and include specific numbers for strength, base curve and diameter.

Unfortunately, online contact lens sellers are increasingly relying on automated verification calls, or robocalls, to confirm contact lens prescriptions. These robocalls are often difficult to understand due to low-quality recording, fail to include all necessary information to confirm a prescription and create barriers for eye doctors to respond to sellers with prescription corrections when necessary.  

This legislation is supported by the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety, the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 

Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Michael Burgess (TX-26) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-At-Large).

Full text of the bill is available here.