Thursday, February 24, 2005

Prescription Release Rule

Hi gang..... I know in my last post I said we were going to do a series on “Do I Really Need That”, and I am anxious to get that started, But before we proceed with the next post on that series I thought it was important to face another issue that seems to be unknown by the consumers who wear prescription eyeglasses.
So for today we are going to talk about the FTC (Federal Trade Commission)
Prescription Release Rule. Did you even know that there was such a rule?
How many times have you been at your doctor's office to get and eye exam and when you were ready to go you asked for a copy of your prescription and they looked at you like you just asked for $1 million dollars.
For whatever reason the eye doctors have got the general public hoodwinked into thinking that your eye exam fee is a down payment on a pair of glasses.
Most of the time they make it seem so uncommon that most people are intimidated to even ask for a copy of the prescription, so they end up buying a pair of glasses from the doctors office that they got the exam from. And Maybe that was not the best deal for you.
Well you as a consumer have a right to shop around for the best deal on your eyeglasses just like any other purchase you make. Your exam fee is just that, a fee for the exam only and you are entitled to a copy of your prescription with out asking for it.

When you go to your family physician for whatever reason, flu, cold, sore throat, etc. and they write you a prescription, do they walk you out to their reception area and you buy your prescription from them before you leave?….. No! You take it to your pharmacist,
Or shop around for the best price on your prescription. Then why is it that we are made to feel like we have to by our Eyeglasses on the way out of the eye Dr’s?
Now if you are comfortable with your Dr’s optical department and you like their selection & prices, and quality of service then that is GREAT! Stay with them.
Just because I am an independent Optician in the business of selling eyewear that doesn’t mean I am trying to pull anyone away from their Dr. As I have stated before, The purpose of my Blog is to help educate the consumers, So I am just making you aware that you do have and are entitled to choices. Here is how the Rule reads:

Facts for Consumers from the Federal Trade Commission

Eye Wear -- May 1994
Produced in cooperation with the American Academy of
Ophthalmology, the National Association of Optometrists and
Opticians, and the Opticians Association of America

If you, like many Americans, wear eyeglasses or contact lenses,
you probably know that comparison shopping can help you find
quality eye wear that meets your budget. In fact, your ability to
comparison shop for eyeglasses is aided by a Federal Trade
Commission Regulation. Under federal law, you have a right to a
copy of your eyeglass prescription so that you can shop for the
best value in eye wear. If you are buying contact lenses,
comparison shopping also can help you find an eye care specialist
who offers products and services suited for you.

This fact sheet explains what rights you have under the law and
gives you information about various types of eye care
professionals. It also gives some suggestions about selecting an
eye care specialist and shopping for eye exams, eyeglasses, and
contact lenses.

Your Legal Rights


The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC)
"Prescription Release Rule"
Requires eye doctors to give you your eyeglass prescription, at
No extra cost, immediately after an eye exam that includes a
Refraction (a test that determines the prescription needed to
Correct your vision). Your eye doctor may withhold your eyeglass
prescription until you have paid for your eye exam, but only if
your eye doctor requires immediate payment whether or not a
visual correction is needed.

With prescription in hand, you can shop for eyeglasses just as
you would for other health-related products and services, looking
for the best quality at the best price. You have a legal right to
your eyeglass prescription, so request it if it is not provided
immediately after an eye examination in which a refraction is performed.

I didn’t want to make this post to long, but there is much more info on this RULE.
If you want to read this whole report were I got this info here is a link:
Facts for Consumers from Federal Trade Commission

Here are a couple more links with more info on the subject:
More info on Prescription Release Rule

Update on Prescription Release Rule

I hope you find this info and this Blog helpful, as always feel free to post a comment

Thanks for stopping by
See’ya next time

Ben Ramsey…aka Mobile Eye Guy


  1. great blog ! Love the pictures and funny stories ! .. do you know anywhere I can get a free eyetest ?

  2. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Thanks for visiting my Blog Dom.
    I don't know about the UK....but here in the US we have an organization called the"Lions Club"
    and they usually have a chapter in every town.They help people get FREE eyeglasses and eye exams.
    you could check and see if you have a simular organization in the UK.
    Have a Great Day

  3. how about filling expired eyeglass rx? Is there a Fed reg limiting time on eyeglass rx's? I only found the reg. for Contacts. for example, patient comes in, wants new eyeglasses, file shows has not had recent exam and rx is 5 years old...can it be filled? Do you have legal right to refuse? or just give duty to warn statement regarding having routine eye health exam? should patient sign waiver of liability if filling old rx?

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  5. Anonymous12:24 PM

    That sounds great, but I've seen very different opinions of white contact lens

  6. wow great post so ladies must be more concious because they usually use different thing to increase the beauty but they must keep in mind that there are different eye problems can be ocour due to the extra usage of such cosmetics that are harmful.

  7. Why don't pharmacies advertise prices on prescription drugs

  8. As a consumer everybody should read this article.

    Owner - Cold Sores

  9. hahah very funny, well thanks I wonder if they are gonna make it, thanks, anyway do you have legal right to refuse? or just give duty to warn statement regarding having routine eye health exam? should patient sign waiver of liability if filling old rx?