Singapore

Tighter rules for online sale of specs

As more Singaporeans buy their spectacles on the Internet, the Government has issued tighter rules on who can do so.

Only those aged 16 and above can make the purchase, and they must have a valid prescription from an optometrist registered with the Optometrists and Opticians Board.

The new guidelines for online sales of prescription glasses, announced on the board's website on Tuesday, "is to ensure that proper assessment and management are in place to safeguard the interest of the public against dubious sources of sales".

Previously, there were no restrictions.

The board, an official governing body in the Ministry of Health, also issued advisories for optical practitioners, retailers and consumers.

To get a prescription that will allow one to buy glasses online, a consumer has to be aged 16 and above, with myopia of below 600 degrees and astigmatism below 200 degrees.

A valid prescription has to include, among other conditions, the consumer's date of birth and identity card number, the date the prescription expires - usually not longer than two years - and a written assessment that the consumer does not have any existing organic eye disease or systemic medical condition that will affect vision.

REGISTERED

Online retailers must be a business registered in Singapore, with a physical outlet that provides after-sales services such as adjustment of spectacles.

Practitioners who do not follow these guidelines may be subject to disciplinary action, as it may be regarded as professional misconduct, said the board.

The Singapore Optometric Association, an industry body of optometrists, said it had raised concerns to the board over the growing trend of consumers purchasing spectacles and contact lenses online.

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