Getting a prescription
Getting your contact prescription against opposition
If you do schedule your eye exam, it is important to ask the eye care provider if he or she will give you a copy of your contact lens prescription afterwards. Many eye care providers prefer not to release prescriptions to patients, because this allows you to take your prescription to anyone for actual purchase and it's in their best interest that you buy your contacts from them. However, providing a copy of your prescription is the law and the doctor has no right to keep it from you. The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act of 2004 settled the issue and from February of that year any eye-care professional must automatically provide you with a copy of your prescription, even if you don't ask for one. Today they are usually stapled to your receipt. By law, prescriptions can be transmitted in hard copy or by any electronic means, so now you don't even have top go to the store and you can receive the prescription on the phone.
It's an uncomfortable situation to be in if you still want to check out your options or if you find that the place you went to for your examination isn't equipped to your satisfaction and you wouldn't want to purchase the contacts there. The easiest thing to do would be to go to another doctor and go through the examination again. If the eye care provider's office will not release prescriptions, you might not want to go to the trouble of arguing with them. Having a copy of your contact lens prescription allows you purchase contacts any place you choose and to shop around for the best prices.
You have a right to your contact lens prescription. (click here for more on this topic).
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