College of Opticians of British Columbia - Court of Appeal Decision About the
Safe Dispensing of Contact Lenses

VANCOUVER, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - The College of Opticians of British Columbia (COBC) today welcomed the decision of the Court of Appeal on The College of Opticians of British Columbia v. Coastal Contacts Inc. and Clearly Contacts Ltd., which found that contact lenses should not be treated as 'over the counter' products and that a prescription is required in order to dispense contact lenses.

"We are pleased with the Court's decision that protects consumer safety and requires accurately dispensed contact lenses," said COBC Chair Kent Ashby. "Protection of one's eyesight and buying contact lenses should never be a 'buyer beware' proposition."

The decision found that the respondents, both sellers of contact lens over the Internet, had failed to comply with the regulations governing the safe dispensing of contact lenses, but has also given the companies six months to establish a business model that does conform to the regulations.

"The goal of the COBC is to have the respondents operate within the law and the standards of practice. We regulate to ensure that individual practitioners and companies provide the highest standard of vision care and accountability," said Ashby. "Our hope is that both companies come forward with a method of operation that meets the regulated standards for safe practice so that they may continue to serve customers."

In BC contact lenses may be obtained, with a prescription, from a regulated health professional such as an optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist.

The College of Opticians of British Columbia regulates and improves the practice of opticians in the public interest by ensuring that BC Opticians provide quality professional care to help people achieve better vision.


For further information: For further information: Nick Atkinson, Registrar, College of Opticians, (604) 278-7510

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