06.12.2010

Online contact lens ban "incompatible with EU law"

Online contact lens ban "incompatible with EU law"

By Martin Burns

A ban on the online sale of contact lenses in Hungary is not compatible with EU law, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said.

A Hungarian law had ruled that contact lenses could only be sold from a store with a resident optometrist or ophthalmologist and with a minimum area of 18 sq m, but the ECJ said that because this law stopped companies from outside the country reaching its customers, it was in contradiction of EU law.

According to the ECJ, restrictions on sales must not go further than is necessary, and it argued that customers could be protected without an online ban.

"For the same reasons, since it contains a prohibition on selling contact lenses via the internet, that legislation cannot be held to be proportionate to the objective of ensuring the protection of public health," the ECJ noted.

Meanwhile, contact lens manufacturer Bausch + Lomb is altering the directions of use on its Renu Fresh multi-purpose contact lens solution in a bid to improve the manner in which customers store and handle lenses, by removing the phrase 'no rub'.

by Martin Burns


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