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July 3, 2012

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Stores lack contact lens licenses

WHILE stores selling contact lenses are now required to have a medical devices operational license or face punishment as of yesterday, many stores in Shanghai were still doing business without it at two of the city's biggest eyeglasses markets.

About half of contact lens stores at Shanghai Sanye Optical Market near the Shanghai Railway Station, and at the Kaitai Eyeglasses Market on Qingyun Road in Zhabei District, were operating without the license yesterday, according to Shanghai Daily's investigation.

Starting in April, the State Food and Drug Administration required stores selling contact lenses in China to get the license. Officials said if they still failed to obtain it by July, they would be punished. Contact lenses belong to the class of medical devices with high risks, officials said.

The crackdown has already started, said Du Bing, an official at the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration. He said detailed punishment plans and results of the crackdown would be announced later.

At three stores reporters visited at Sanye Optical Market, only one had the license. Sanye is among the biggest and best known eyeglasses wholesale markets in Shanghai, with around 110 or 120 stores, and almost all of them sell contact lenses.

Half of the stores had no medical devices operational license, according to Hu Liqing, the owner of Jilun Eyeglass Store, which had the medical devices operational license, issued on June 28.

To get the license, operators had to apply to FDA at the district or county level, submitting documents such as product registration certificates.

A salesperson at Jiajia Eyeglasses Store at the market said she thought only contact lens producers were required to have the license and all stores at the market didn't have it. A salesperson at Henmao Eyeglasses Store said they were applying for it. At the Kaitai Wholesale Eyeglasses Market, almost all had business licenses on the wall, while few had the medical devices operational license posted.

A salesperson at the Xinyi Eyeglasses Store said they had all other licenses except the one. She promised "all contact lenses were safe and good quality and no customer had ever returned the products."


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