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Thread: How many contacts can a patient buy a couple months before Rx expires???

  1. #1
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    How many contacts can a patient buy a couple months before Rx expires???

    This is not a question of when the RX actually expires...

    I'm new here and been in the business for about 10 years. When I first started it was told to me by another optician, that if the Rx is 3 months from expiration we can only sell them enough lenses to get them thru the end of the prescription. The logic being that it is a medical device and they need to be re-evaluated once that Rx expires. I was discussing this with a co-worker earlier and could not find any clear cut information online(prior to arriving on this site in the middle of the expiration debate thread).

    Can someone walk in 3 months prior to expiration and order a year supply? My thinking is NO. We can't sell them a 2 year supply the day of their exam(provided the Rx is written for 1 year).

    I'm hoping to get a more straightforward answer versus speculation and my "logic".

    Thanks in advance!

    Chopper

  2. #2
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    There is nothing stopping that patient from taking their valid RX elsewhere and buying as many contact lenses as they want. If they are already considering buying more contact lenses than they can use before the RX expires, they probably have already made the decision that their lenses are working fine and are in no hurry to pay for a new CL fitting.

  3. #3
    OptiBoard Professional KrystleClear's Avatar
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    We usually defer to what our doctors want us to do - but honestly, if we limit the amount they can order they can just order a bunch from some online supplier instead. Patients seem to get away with ordering CLs with long expired scripts online too. It seems pretty lawless. CL wearers just do not seem that concerned about the health of their eyes, in general.
    Krystle

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrystleClear View Post
    We usually defer to what our doctors want us to do - but honestly, if we limit the amount they can order they can just order a bunch from some online supplier instead. Patients seem to get away with ordering CLs with long expired scripts online too. It seems pretty lawless. CL wearers just do not seem that concerned about the health of their eyes, in general.

    While searching for an answer online I stumbled across a website that advertises contacts without an Rx, they are based in Canada. I guess my question was more geared towards in our actual practices, excluding online. What i'm gathering is there is no clear cut rule/law that states if a patient comes in with 3 months left on their Rx and wants to buy a year supply of contacts preventing them from doing so.

  5. #5
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    We do limit. but just as previous posters have mentioned...they can still take rx and get it filled elsewhere. It's not very regulated. They need to get examined every year, but I've seen patients get 3 years worth and not get examined. As far as online goes... we ordered CL from Hubble with a made up Dr and a made up rx and they were shipped with no problems. Definitely not regulated.

  6. #6
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    True experience from a few years ago. They have since stopped selling contacts but the beer in the walk-in is still plentiful and cold...

    https://www.optiboard.com/forums/sho...highlight=pack

  7. #7
    One eye sees, the other feels. OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    <snip> beer in the walk-in is still plentiful and cold...

    https://www.optiboard.com/forums/sho...highlight=pack
    Beer good, infectious keratitis bad.

    The practice will place their necks in a legal guillotine if the quantity of CLs sold extends the wear past the expiration date of the Rx.

    Best regards,

    Robert Martellaro
    Roberts Optical Ltd.
    Wauwatosa Wi.
    www.roberts-optical.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. - Richard P. Feynman

    It is easier to fool a man, than to convince a man he has been fooled. -Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Camblor View Post
    There is nothing stopping that patient from taking their valid RX elsewhere and buying as many contact lenses as they want. If they are already considering buying more contact lenses than they can use before the RX expires, they probably have already made the decision that their lenses are working fine and are in no hurry to pay for a new CL fitting.
    In that case, more power to said patient. Just because they can do this doesn't mean one needs to endorse the degradation of standards and regulations that exist for a very good reason. I consider this to be more of an ethical issue than anything else. I am a strong believer in "Holding the line" when it comes to the increasing pressure that is applied in the fantastic race to the absolute bottom. A principled stand, especially by a minority, probably won't add up to jack squat, but at least I can say I didn't contribute to the decline, which is all I need to be able to sleep well at night.

  9. #9
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    Sell them as many as they want - and then bill the ever living CRAP out of them when they return with those nasty K ulcers, raging GPC, and generally eyeballs that look like literal hamburger under the slit lamp!

    WIN WIN!

    And just think of those PENNIES of profit you'll make on those cash cow contact lenses! LOLZ!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uilleann View Post
    Sell them as many as they want - and then bill the ever living CRAP out of them when they return with those nasty K ulcers, raging GPC, and generally eyeballs that look like literal hamburger under the slit lamp!

    WIN WIN!

    And just think of those PENNIES of profit you'll make on those cash cow contact lenses! LOLZ!
    I read this in Mr. Burns from the Simpsons voice with his fingers tented.

  11. #11
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    "The practice will place their necks in a legal guillotine if the quantity of CLs sold extends the wear past the expiration date of the Rx."



    I'll bet you cannot find a case that produced a judgement.

    We all carry insurance and lawyers would settle the rare case of someone with the chutzpah to sue after they insisted on buying beyond an expiration date.

  12. #12
    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    I'll bet you cannot find a case that produced a judgement.
    Right on Uncle Festah. What would the damages be by refusing to give the gomer a few lenses? Nada, none, bupkus, zip point doodoo. A judge would laugh you out of his courtroom and there ain't a lawyer that would represent you.

  13. #13
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    When I served several years in corporate optical prison, we would have the typical discount shopper load up on CL's during the annual Thanksgiving Day sale. Then they would come back and want to exchange them months later when their prescription changed.

    "Uh. Nope."

    "Well what am I supposed to do with all of these contacts? They're the wrong power."

    "Next year don't spend dollars trying to save pennies. Sometimes you can beat the system. More often the system beats you"
    Last edited by waynegilpin; 07-18-2021 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Typo

  14. #14
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    This is a legit concern.

    If a CLRx were like a drug Rx, we'd handle things differently (quantity dispensed specified, Rx taken from patient, 30-day expiry, actual factual licensed professionals in charge of dispensing).

    But CLRxs were modeled after spectacle Rxs (which are little other than recommendations they're so weak) so it's not a drug model for sure.

    So...what to do?

    Realize:
    1. the person with the Rx can shop a billion boxes
    2. really, no Rx is needed
    3. yes they can stock up all they want at 11:59 PM the day of the expiration.

    So, the horse was never fully in the barn in the first place, and now it's left the barn completely.


    Our policy:
    1. We're eye care professionals.
    2. We do what's right for our patients
    3. We are regulated (even though it's a double/triple/quadruple standard!) and licensed
    4. We have to play by rules (although others don't)
    5. We set policy, we don't follow it, dammit

    One year expiration. OK for a 6 mo extension under most reasonable circumstances. The end.

  15. #15
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    Our office does a 2 year expiration on a CLRx. And its little surprise that even so we STILL get pts who loudly whine and complain when THAT expires. Even though it's twice as long as the national CL standard of care for a CLRx. *shrug*

    If the script is valid - fill it. Whatever. If they shred their eyes, it isn't on you.

  16. #16
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uilleann View Post
    Our office does a 2 year expiration on a CLRx. And its little surprise that even so we STILL get pts who loudly whine and complain when THAT expires. Even though it's twice as long as the national CL standard of care for a CLRx. *shrug*

    If the script is valid - fill it. Whatever. If they shred their eyes, it isn't on you.
    Agreed. We are their healthcare provider, not their mommy.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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