In 1980, the Federal Trade Commission-a government agency dedicated to the protection of consumers—saw its Prescription Release Rule become law. This law requires that optometrists and opthamologists give patients and customers a copy of their vision prescription and the end of an eye exam. This way, consumers can exercise their right to purchase eyeglasses, contact lenses, or prescription sunglasses from the store of your choice.
When you receive an eye examination, your doctor must …
- Give you a copy of your prescription whether or not you request it
- Give it freely, without setting conditions on its release or charging you a fee
- Not disclaim liability for the prescription's accuracy if you decide to buy glasses or contact lenses elsewhere
The FTC enforces these rules. Doctors who violate them are subject to a civil penalty of $10,000.
You can contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) if you feel your doctor has unfairly withheld your vision prescription or attempted to set conditions for its release.
Click here to go to the FTC's website to read more.