The FTC held a public Contact Lens Rule Workshop in Washington, D.C. on March 7 to explore issues regarding competition in the contact lens marketplace, consumer access to contact lenses, prescription release and portability, and related discussion.
As one of the world’s largest contact lens manufacturers, CooperVision® had a significant presence at the workshop to advocate for the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and the safety of the patient. Jerry Warner, President, the Americas and Michele Andrews, OD, Senior Director, North America Professional and Academic Affairs were in attendance, and Shaun Schooley, Vice President of Global Marketing Technology, participated on one of the panels.
Schooley’s panel, Examining the Verification Process, focused on the current state of prescription verifications, and explored what changes might be beneficial. Shaun spoke about the benefits of LensFerry, which keeps the contact lens prescription and purchase within the prescribing practice, while also providing consumers with the convenience of an online subscription model, including quarterly payments and direct-to-home shipments.
In his comments around the current prescription verification process set forward in 2004 by the FTC’s Contact Lens Rule, Schooley explained, “Consumers are probably more empowered now than they have ever been in terms of being able to shop and buy. It is a fundamentally different world that we live in today than it was in 2004. LensFerry opens up a convenient way for the patient to be able to access products from their prescriber without having to go through the extra steps [of an online retailer’s verification process].”
He went on to encourage the FTC to look to digital communications as an efficient alternative to tactics such as the ‘robocalls’ from online retailers that are currently in use. “I would think that taking an open-minded attitude to what the future might hold as far as being able to digitize these things and have them come across in more forms that you are able to react to in a form that is always accurate – that could be a really positive step forward,” he said.
Relative to the workshop, CooperVision was a leader on social media, publishing and sharing content in support of optometry and patient safety, and educating followers about the role of LensFerry.
In addition, CooperVision’s participation in the FTC Contact Lens Rule Workshop was recognized and promoted by industry partners and trade media.