UPP Abandoned by Alcon, B + L, Johnson & Johnson--Game On
1800Contacts influenced legislators in Utah to establish the Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act in that state which prohibited UPP.
By the beginning of 2017 most of the contact lenses which were released with UPP pricing were no longer UPP priced. The manufactures could see that it would not work if the prices of an online retailer in Utah was different than others across the country.. There were law suits and appeals against the controversial Utah legislation, but the apparent result is that UPP no longer exists for mot brands of contact lenses.
So how has this affected the eye care industry? Perhaps contact lens consumers are the winners. I don't see how 1800Contacts are the winners. They may be the most famous contact lens retailer, but they certainly aren't the cheapest or most conveinient.
When Bausch & Lomb introduced its monthly ULTRA® contact lenses in May, 2014 its UPP price was $60.00 per box of 6 lenses. That is the price eveyone sold it for, although it is possible retailers could charge more.
This week I dropped the price of a box of ULTRA® contact lenses to $55.00 per box, and there is an $80.00 in manufactures rebates on an annual supply of 4 boxes of 6, so that the annual supply of lenses (4 x $55.00 = $220.00) before the manufactue's rebate. In my office, after the rebate, a year supply of ULTRA® contact lenses is only $140, which is $35.00 per box.
1800Contacts sells a box of 6 ULTRA® contact lenses for $57.99 per box and advertises that ordering an annual supply of 4 boxes the cost after rebate is $42.99 per box, which is $7.99 per box more than I charge ($31.96 per year more than I charge). It should also be noted that I generally have these lenses in stock to pick up at my office, and offer free shippng on annual supply for people that perfer home shipping.
So who was the winner of all the law suits created by 1800contacts and the contact lens manufacture's?
It is obviously the contact lens consumer. Does 1800Contacts want to fight? Bring it on!