The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revised its Contact Lens Rule adding additional requirements that will affect New York Opticians who fit contact lenses. Although not wholly responsible for a contact lens prescription, the FTC considers Opticians to be “prescribers” if state law allows them to fit contact lenses.

The Commission says the Final Rule, which comes on the heels of four years of comment and discussion, is designed to “facilitate shopping for contact lenses” by requiring prescribers to automatically give patients a copy of their prescription. The Final Rule also requires that prescribers maintain documentation confirming that patients received their prescriptions.

After a contact lens fitting, Opticians will have to confirm in one of four ways that patients have received their prescriptions:

  1. Ask the patient to acknowledge receipt by signing a separate confirmation statement
  2. Ask the patient to sign a prescriber-retained copy of the prescription that has a statement confirming the patient has received it
  3. Ask the patient to sign a prescriber-retained copy of the sales receipt for the examination that has a statement confirming the patient received the prescription, or
  4. With the patient’s permission, give the patient a digital copy of the prescription, and keep a record that it was sent, received, or made accessible, downloadable, and printable.

Opticians must keep the record of consent when providing a paper copy of the prescription.

The Commission also updated its definition of “provide the patient a copy” to include a digital copy of the prescription. However, it requires Opticians to obtain consent to the specific form of electronic delivery to be used.

Opticians also must:

  • Keep a record of the patient’s consent for three years.
  • Provide an extra copy of the prescription within 40 business hours when patients, or their designated agents, request an extra copy.

Look for more information from NYSSO on how to apply this to your office.

For more about this new rule, visit: