Attorney General Abbott stops illegal contact lens dispensers

By Marilyn Tennissen | Apr 5, 2007

SAN ANTONIO �Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott stopped two local contact lens dispensers from illegally selling contact lenses without prescriptions.

Under the terms of the agreements filed in San Antonio, the operators of Main Optical and New Look Cosmetics, the latter of which has closed, have agreed to provide restitution to consumers who complained about the products or who may have suffered eye injuries because of improperly fitted lenses.

"Texans will not tolerate vendors who ignore the law and put their customers' health at risk," Attorney General Abbott said. "We are pleased that these defendants are prohibited from illegally selling their products. The Office of Attorney General will continue aggressively protecting the health and safety of Texas consumers."

According to the judgment, Main Optical was illegally dispensing lenses to customers without required prescriptions. Dispensing any contact lenses, even noncorrective, or "plano," lenses, which are intended solely to change the appearance of the eye, still requires a prescription from a physician or optometrist.

Main Optical also advertised "cosmetic color contacts," which led consumers to believe prescriptions were not necessary, a violation of the law. The business used its own staff and equipment to make eye measurements without prescriptions or without the involvement of a licensed optometrist, which also violates state law.

New Look Cosmetics routinely operated from booths at a flea market on Highway 90 West, as well as Corpus Christi-area flea markets, despite warnings from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) that the practice is illegal.

DSHS referred both cases to the Office of Attorney General for enforcement.

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