Dry Eye Foundation has identified more than 200 eye drops (62 brands) sold online that have potential safety issues. Of these, the majority are packaged exclusively for sale in a country other than the U.S. Many are advertised as preservative-free but are pictured in bottles designed only for preserved eye drops. More than 60 individual products have been found on Amazon.
According to the organization, digital marketplaces are flooded with eye drops from sellers that ignore Federal drug regulations, from safe packaging rules to FDA registration requirements. The manufacturing locations and conditions for many of these eye drops are unknown to the FDA.
“Most people are not aware that over-the-counter drugs, including eye drops, are regulated on an honor system,” said Sandra Brown, MD, Dry Eye Foundation’s medical advisor. “Unfortunately, online marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart take no steps to vet eye drop products, so it’s becoming very difficult for consumers to tell the good from the bad.”