03.08.2011

GOC clamps down on illegal contact lens sales

GOC clamps down on illegal contact lens sales

Posted by Martin Burns

The General Optical Council (GOC) has revealed it is clamping down on the illegal sale of contact lenses in a bid to ensure wearers of the products are as safe as possible.

At the 195th GOC meeting in London, the organisation revealed that the safety of contact lens wearers across the UK is of paramount importance.

During the meeting, which was held at the GOC"s headquarters on Harley Street, the organisation said there have been a significant number of referrals after the GOC"s powers of investigation were expanded.

Overall, there were 122 reported referrals of alleged illegal contact lens sales, with 45 of these cases now closed and 77 currently being examined, while 12 retailers had been forced to cease selling plano lenses, which are often referred to as zero-powered contacts.

Optician Online reported GOC chief executive and registrar Samantha Peters as saying: "Since last year"s EU court ruling, we have been able to vigorously pursue breaches of the Opticians Act.

"It"s too early to tell how many reports of potential breaches we will receive this year, and where most will come from. The number we have received in a short space of time is testament to our work in raising awareness of illegal contact lens sales."

She was also keen to stress that the organisation had been aiming to work more efficiently – a measure which has already led to a significant cut in the 2011/12 retention fee.

Recently, Dr Jules Winokur, a corneal specialist in New York City, told Fox News that there have been incidents involving people developing infections after using illegal contact lenses acquired through unofficial channels, so it is wise to only use lenses from official, reputable suppliers which conform to industry standards. 

by Alexa Kaczka


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