A new European project for monitoring the distribution of contact lenses will start up on June 1. The aim is to ensure that lenses are sold by professionals, and that when the customer presents a prescription, it be carefully checked and respected by the seller. Such regulations are already implemented in the USA and in the UK to protect the consumer; the aim of the current project is to extend these procedures to the entire European Union. To date there is no source of information in Europe relating to incidents arising from the use of contact lenses or to regulations concerning their purchase. The aim is to ensure that the purchase of contact lenses is subject to certain regulations, or based on a prescription that must be carefully respected by the vendor.

The project is called The Contact Lens European Evidence Reporting Project (CLEER). A second objective of CLEER is to gather data about all sight problems related to the use of contact lenses: «Whatever problems, symptomatic or not, that lead to a temporary interruption in the use of a patient’s contact lenses, and a visit to an eye specialist». Ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians will all be asked to participate whenever they encounter specific problems related to the use of contact lenses; they are asked to supply full details by filling out a form that they will return to the secretary of their own country’s professional organization.

The project is coordinated by ECLF, the European Contact Lens Forum. Participating bodies are ECLSO (European Contact Lens Society of Ophthalmology), ECOO (European Council of Optometry and Optics), EFCLIN (European Federation of the Contact Lens Industry), EUROMCONTACT (European Federation of National Associations and International Manufacturers of Contact Lens Products) and IACLE (European representative of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators).