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Vermont Reaches Settlement with Telehealth Company, Visibly

May 8, 2023

Settlement Prevents Visibly From Misrepresenting Safety or Effectiveness of Vision Tests

The Attorney General’s Office announced that it joined a multistate settlement last month with Visibly Inc, resolving an investigation into deceptive business practices at the online telehealth company. Visibly, formerly known as Opternative Inc., markets and sells an online vision test, among other products.

The multistate investigation was opened after a letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Visibly about marketing its online vision tests without the requisite clearance or approval. The investigation raised concerns about unsubstantiated claims made by Visibly regarding the accuracy and safety of its online test, including that it was as accurate as an in-person exam. In addition, the investigation evaluated Visibly’s misrepresentations about other product aspects, including customer satisfaction rates and satisfaction guarantees.

The settlement requires Visibly to adhere to certain standards and pay the State of Vermont $27,058.49. Visibly has also agreed, among other things, to: 

  • Not market or sell any product to consumers unless it can be legally marketed or sold in accordance with the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) or other FDA authority.
  • Not make any representations comparing the safety or effectiveness of any Visibly product to products or services provided in person by medical professionals without possessing competent and reliable scientific evidence substantiating the representation.
  • Clearly label that its products have not been endorsed by any provider appearing on its “Find a Doctor” feature.
  • Disclose that its online vision test is not a substitute for an in-person comprehensive eye examination, and urge consumers to seek such exams to determine overall eye health.

Visibly sought FDA clearance for its visual acuity test while the investigation was pending, and FDA approval was granted in August 2022.

Joining Vermont in participating in the settlement are the attorneys general of Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.