New Vision Action Center educates consumers on their rights

New videos on online prescription renewal and the right to purchase eyewear where you want

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WASHINGTON, DC – As more states across the country are considering anti-consumer restrictions or bans on online prescription renewal services and the use of telehealth in vision care, and as some eye care providers and contact lens manufacturers that profit from eyewear sales are seeking to delay and weaken the FTC’s proposed pro-market update to the Contact Lens Rule, Consumer Action has launched a new Vision Action Center to help ensure that hundreds of millions of glasses and contact lens wearers in America know their consumer rights.

“Americans are increasingly turning to online vendors and telehealth services to purchase contact lenses and glasses and renew prescriptions online. But special interests threaten to interfere with your ability to use these services. Consumer Action is working to protect your right to buy eyewear where you choose and to take advantage of new telehealth technologies if you want to,” said Linda Sherry, Director of National Priorities for Consumer Action.

The Vision Action Center, which can be found on the Consumer Action website, includes two new animated educational videos produced by Consumer Action and Fexy Media. One video outlines basic rights for contact lens and glasses consumers. The other video explains how online prescription renewal services work. Consumers can watch these videos and share them with friends and family right from Consumer Action’s website.

Polling conducted by Consumer Action last year found that 60% of contact lens consumers are unaware that under federal law, an eye doctor or exam provider is required to automatically provide them with a copy of their prescription after their eye exam, and more than 30% of consumers are not given their prescription despite that legal requirement. Consumer Action polling also found that a majority of consumers want access to online prescription renewal services because it has the potential to save them time and money, and is more convenient than in-person prescription renewals, but many Americans are unaware that these online services even existed.

“Consumers who wear glasses and contacts are being kept in the dark about their rights and about new services that will save them time and money,” said Ken McEldowney, Executive Director of Consumer Action. “Right now, eye care providers who have previously enjoyed a monopoly on prescription renewal are lobbying legislatures in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Missouri and other states to ban or severely limit consumers’ ability to get online tests for prescription renewals. There is a lot of misinformation flying around, including claims that these services are unsafe or are being marketed as replacements for comprehensive in-person eye exams. None of that is true. We believe it’s critical that consumers get the facts.”

Consumer Action will add news updates, additional consumer education materials and new videos to the Vision Action Center in the coming weeks.

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Through multilingual consumer education materials, community outreach and issue-focused advocacy, Consumer Action empowers underrepresented consumers nationwide to assert their rights in the marketplace and financially prosper.





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