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Counterfeit contact lenses available on Amazon draws AOA response


The AOA takes seriously its responsibility as a reliable resource for eye care and health care policy information, recently approaching the world’s largest e-commerce retailer about vendors using its marketplace to sell contact lenses without a prescription.

In a letter sent to Amazon on Feb. 27, AOA underscored that contact lens sales sans prescriptions are violations not only of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumer Act (FCLCA) but also Amazon’s own policy on “Medical Devices and Accessories,” given that contact lenses are regulated by both the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration.

In addition to legal concerns related to the FCLCA, AOA noted concerning guidance from sellers related to their contact lenses, including such egregious and inappropriate instructions as “…gently press the contact lens opposite clockwise or counterclockwise turn 30 times, and put in a box for a new care solution … if you do not use for a long time, please put it in the box soak with care solution, replace the care solution every three days.”

In response, Amazon thanked AOA for its diligence and reiterated its own medical devices policy while stating the company will take appropriate action when products are reported for legal non-compliance.

If doctors are aware of an illegal retailer or encounter a patient harmed by illegally procured contact lenses, here’s what to do.