In late August, the U.S. Senate passed an appropriations bill that, among other actions, calls for increased vigilance for eye health and safety. According to Vision Monday, the bill, "...calls for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to examine eye health research findings to increase patients’ vision safety and to update its reports on the burdens of keratitis and contact lens-related infections.” The Healthcare Alliance for Patient Safety (APS), of which CooperVision® is a charter member, advocates for measures such as this in support of patient health and safety.
In a recent statement, Alliance chairwoman Deanna Alexander, OD said, “The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety has worked diligently with lawmakers to ensure patients have a more complete understanding of vision health facts and potential dangers from using contact lenses sold by online retailers that may not have been prescribed, verified and properly fit by an eye doctor. Our members and patient safety advocates are eager to continue working with lawmakers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and relevant agencies to ensure that patients have access to proper data to make informed decisions regarding their vision health.”
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 85-7. In June, the bill passed in the House in a 359-49 vote.
More reliable data gathering around contact lens related infections, like those reported in the CDC’s MMWR and discussed here last month, will lend support to ongoing advocacy efforts around better prescription verification methods and the need to keep the doctor central to the contact lens patient experience. CooperVision continues to advocate for patient safety both independently and in its key role with the APS.