TWO optometrical colleges in Ontario, Canada, have turned to the courts to seek an injunction that would prohibit the Essilor Canada-owned online retail portal Clearly from dispensing prescription glasses and contact lenses to the public without complying with local legislation, Optician reports.

The College of Opticians of Ontario and the College of Optometrists of Ontario regulate dispensing and optometry in the province, where it is illegal for anyone other than an optometrist, optiician or physician to dispense prescription eyewear to a patient except under appropriate supervision or delegation.

Under section 87 of the Health Professions Procedural Code, the colleges have applied to a judge of the Ontario Superior Court to bring an injunction to stop any individual, or organisation from dispensing in a manner that violates state law.

‘Patient choice and convenience is important, but this can’t come at the expense of patient safety,’ Dr Paula Garshowitz, registrar of the College of Optometrists of Ontario, said.

‘This action isn’t about stopping online dispensing. This is about ensuring that Ontarians have full protection under Ontario laws.’

Patients in Ontario are presently able to purchase eyewear online that is lawfully dispensed by authorised eye-care practitioners through a strict validation process developed by the colleges.