Comments of Consumers Union
Eyeglass Rule
16 CFR Part 456, Project No. R511996

Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Commissions’ review of the Eyeglass Rule.  We strongly support the Rule.  We believe it has significantly benefitted consumers by enabling them to comparison shop for eyewear at lower cost and greater convenience for a necessity that can be a significant budget expense.

Although consumers now generally take it for granted that their eye doctor will provide them with a copy of their vision correction prescription, at no additional cost, this was not always the case.  Before the Eyeglass Rule was issued in 1978, eye doctors often neglected or even refused to provide the prescription, steering their patients to their own in-house or designated supplier.  Consumers effectively had no choice in where they could purchase their prescription eyewear.  By requiring the eye doctor to give the patient a copy of the prescription immediately following completion of the eye exam, the Eyeglass Rule prevents eye doctors from tying the medical service to the product sale, enabling effective competition and meaningful consumer choice.

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