FTC proposes changes to ophthalmology prescription laws

The Federal Trade Commission is holding a public workshop on May 18 to allow comments on its proposed update to the Ophthalmic Practice Rules, commonly known as the Eyeglass Rule, which would require ophthalmologists and optometrists to get a signed statement from patients confirming the receipt of a prescription copy. 

The Eyeglass Rule, which is designed to facilitate consumer choice and promote competition in the market, currently requires physicians to provide patients with a copy of their prescription immediately after an appointment. 

Prescribers cannot require the patient to buy glasses, pay an additional fee, or sign a waiver to receive the prescription. If the rule is amended, prescribers will have to keep a signed statement from patients on file for three years. 

Another proposed amendment would also allow providers to provide a digital prescription instead of a paper prescription, with patient consent, according to a March 21 press release. 

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