Pupils Wide Open.
"Optometry is virtually the only form of health care where the care giver actually sells the items he prescribes," according to Consumers Research. Eye doctors had faced a considerable drop in income when technology moved the contact lens industry away from specialized lenses to disposables. This shift made mass production possible, taking distribution out of doctors' control. Through the AOA, optometrists fought back by pressuring manufacturers of disposables to sell lenses only to licensed optometrists, rather than directly to other retailers or patients.
When it comes to soft contacts, companies that mass-distribute the lenses are forced to buy more expensive lenses from wholesalers, instead of directly from manufacturers. And many optometrists won't write a patient a prescription unless he agrees to buy their lenses. Such practices allow eye doctors to mark up lenses between one and five times the cost.
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|Title Annotation:||American Optometric Association sued for price fixing|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Aug 1, 2001|
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