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Having trouble getting your contact lens prescription from your eye care provider?

Eye care providers are required by law to give contact lens prescriptions to patients when the fitting process is complete. While this requirement is generally understood, recognize there can be bad actors in any industry. While this situation can be perplexing, the reason is simple: unlike your family doctor, most eye doctors sell what they prescribe (see chart). Therefore, some believe withholding your prescription will force you to purchase contact lenses from them. Here is some information that might help:

 
  File a Complaint
Be Savvy Know the Law What is ethical behavior

The American Medical Association (AMA) has written a Code of Ethics to define ethical behavior by doctors. Their position is very clear with respect to obtaining your prescription - you have a right to it. Below is the exact wording from the AMA's Code of Ethics:

E-8.06 Prescribing and Dispensing Drugs and Devices:
"In all instances, physicians should respect the patient's freedom of choice in selecting who will fill their prescriptions as they are in the choice of a physician and, therefore, have the right to have a prescription filled wherever they wish."

"Patients have an ethically and legally recognized right to prompt access to the information contained in their individual medical records. Since a prescription is part of the patient's medical record, the patient is entitled to a copy of the physician's prescription for drugs or devices, including eyeglasses and contact lenses."

Full text can be found at the American Medical Association website.

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