Healthcare Business

Feds to Shut Down Illegal Contact Lens Seller

Paul Ausick

If you want to turn your brown eyes blue, your choices of places to shop for cosmetic contact lenses has just been shortened. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday filed a complaint against a California-based contact lens seller, charging him with selling contact lens without a prescription. The FTC’s proposed order includes a civil penalty of $575,000.

The complaint was against three online firms owned by Lawrence L. Duskin that sold cosmetic contact lenses without collecting prescriptions from customers or verifying prescriptions with prescribers. The three companies,, and, were also said to have failed to maintain records of customer prescription.

Even with cosmetic contact lenses that can change the way your eyes look without correcting your vision, you must have a prescription in order to purchase them. More important, in this case at least, is that a vendor who sells cosmetic lenses without getting a copy of your prescription or verifying it with the prescriber is breaking federal law.

In addition to the $575,000 fine, the FTC’s proposed order against Duskin permanently prohibits him from advertising, marketing, promoting, dispensing or selling contact lenses.

The FTC offered this advice for consumers looking to buy cosmetic contacts:

If you’re in the market for cosmetic contacts, see an eye care professional for an eye exam and prescription. Once you have your prescription, only buy contacts from sellers who require your prescription (or will verify it with your eye doctor) and who sell FDA-approved contact lenses. Your sight may depend on it.

See the FTC’s announcement for more details.