From Prescription to Subscription

A roundup of contact lens subscription services that don’t cut the ECP out of the care—or revenue—cycle

What’s in your box?

For an increasing number of consumers, it’s contact lenses.


Who are e-commerce subscribers? Says Forbes: They’re most likely to be 25-44 years old with incomes from $50,000 to $100,000, and live in urban environments in the Northeastern U.S.

Subscription delivery services are all the rage.

The online subscription market has grown by more than 100% a year over the last five years. And 15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions, whether it’s for razors, food, or contact lenses.

Approximately $400 million in contact lens sales leave practitioners’ offices every year, mostly for online services like Hubble and 1-800-Contacts, according to research on . While many of these services cut the ECP out of the equation, a growing number of doctor-centered services bridge the gap between subscription service and in-office compliance.

For patients, it brings cost savings and convenience. For practitioners, it means providing patients with a service they want, encouraging compliance, reducing inventory, and keeping the ECP and the patient connected. Depending on the service, it may also cut the practice in on sales revenue.

Here, we serve up a smattering of the contact lens subscription services that work with ECPs, not against them.


ECPs can enroll their patients (after their annual contact lens exam) in this subscription service offered by EyeCare Prime, a subsidiary of CooperVision. The annual cost of lenses is broken into monthly payments and convenient deliveries. LensFerry includes contact lenses from all manufacturers at ECPs’ specified prices, and the prescribing practice receives the sales revenue. ►


Developed by Johnson & Johnson Vision just a few months ago, the MyACUVUE subscription program delivers to customers buying an annual supply. The patients order through their ECP and the lenses are shipped directly from J&J to the patient. Patients can use their MyACUVUE Rewards or spread out the cost of an annual supply into affordable payments.


Sightbox bills itself as a “concierge-like” service that handles every step of the contact lens process for its members. It schedules the eye exam, pays the optometrist, orders the contacts, and delivers them monthly, all on its members’ behalf. Sightbox just launched a new website that offers shareable resources for ECPs.

The Lens Butler

This is a subscription service with a twist. Patients sign up through their ECP after their annual exam and can order contacts from any of the major vendors. The Lens Butler delivers and bills monthly. It even allows ECPs to personalize the subscription boxes their patients receive with educational materials and upcoming promotions. ►

Susan Tarrant