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Thursday / May 23.
HomeminewsClearly Contacts Told to Cease CL Supply

Clearly Contacts Told to Cease CL Supply

Following investigations by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the global online eyewear marketer Clearly Contacts (which trades under the name Coastal Contacts Pty Ltd) has withdrawn contact lenses from its Australian online retail site www.clearlycontacts.com.au.

Coastal Contacts Pty Ltd received an official warning in accordance from the TGA for breaches to the 1989 Act. The company told the TGA they will comply with Australian legislative requirements and have decided to cease importing and supplying contact lenses to Australian consumers from their Alexandria warehouse. Furthermore, in relation to advertising via their Australian domain, www.clearlycontacts.com.au, now, when a consumer tries to order contact lenses from their website, the company states that: “We are unable to accept orders for contact lenses at this time.”

Industry sources have estimated that Clearly Contacts was filling in excess of 250 – 300 orders for contact lenses every working day and held approximately 7 per cent of the Australian market. Although Clearly Contacts was distributing reputable brands, the products were sourced from international intermediaries rather than through legal ‘sponsors’.

According to the TGA and associated laws only the legal sponsor or an authorised distributor is permitted to import and supply a registered contact lens for commercial sale in Australia.

Simon Cosgrove, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care’s General Manager ANZ and Chair of the Contact Lens Industry Council (CLIC) said regulatory obligations for the import and supply of therapeutic goods such as contact lenses “are designed to protect patient health and safety” and that “parallel importation may raise important regulatory and safety issues.”

“Parallel importation may raise concerns because importers are not always aware of these obligations and their non-compliance may risk patient health and safety and reflect upon the industry.”

Mr. Cosgrove said “manufacturers have no ability to monitor unauthorised importers and can provide no assurances that their handling, storage and dispensing practices are appropriate. If an adverse event is reported, parallel importation may also make it more difficult for manufacturers to trace potentially affected batches.”

For these reasons, he says, CLIC has serious concerns about parallel importing by a company operating and supplying in Australia who is not the legal sponsor or authorised distributor. He urges all eye care professionals to educate patients about the risks of purchasing contact lenses from unauthorised online retailers.