Optometrist refusing to provide contact lens prescription

Dear Consumer Ed:

I recently had my eyes examined by an optometrist, but in order to save money, I wanted to order my contact lenses from an online provider. When I asked the optometrist for the prescription, they told me they would only give it to me if I bought contacts from them. Are they allowed to do that?

Consumer Ed says:

No. The Federal Trade Commission’s Eyeglass Rule and Contact Lens Rule require optometrists to provide patients with their glasses prescription at the end of their eye exam. A contact lens prescription must be provided after the contact fitting is complete.  The doctor cannot make you pay an extra fee, buy eyeglasses or contact lenses, or sign a waiver or form. To report an eye doctor you suspect of violating the Eyeglass Rule or the Contact Lens Rule, contact the FTC at ftc.gov.

Submit your own question to Consumer Ed.  Remember…we do not give legal advice. Always consult a lawyer about legal issues.

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