Thirty-seven store owners and wholesale distribution companies in Texas have agreed to stop selling “unlawful and potentially dangerous” contact lenses in Texas, according to the state’s attorney general.
Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a press release that his office had secured “Assurances of Voluntary Compliance” from the businesses. The owners have made refunds available to consumers and will pay more than $140,000 in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees.
The attorney general’s office began its investigation in March 2016 after undercover sweeps by the San Antonio Police Department turned up more than two dozen stores selling contact lenses without requiring consumers to provide a prescription, violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Texas Optometry Act, according to the release.
Information provided by retailers led to investigations by the attorney general’s office into the distributors of the contact lenses. Ten companies – located primarily in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas – marketed the lenses to novelty shops, corner stores and gas stations, the release states.
“My office’s contact lens sweep is a reminder to Texans to safeguard their vision by using only contact lenses prescribed for them by a licensed practitioner,” Paxton said. “We will continue to take appropriate action against retailers and businesses that endanger consumers by selling unlawful lenses. We strongly urge anyone who has found retailers selling lenses without a prescription to contact our office.”