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S.B. 176 Enrolled






Chief Sponsor: Curtis S. Bramble

House Sponsor: Jeff Alexander

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill enacts the Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act within the Utah Optometry
             11      Practice Act in relation to producing, prescribing, marketing, selling, and distributing
             12      contact lenses.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This bill:
             15          .    defines "alternative channels of distribution," "competitor," "manufacturer," and
             16      "prescriber" for purposes of the Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act;
             17          .    provides that a manufacturer of contact lenses who sells, markets, or distributes
             18      contact lenses in the state shall certify by affidavit to the attorney general that the
             19      brand of lenses are made available in a commercially reasonable and
             20      nondiscriminatory manner to prescribers, entities associated with prescribers, and
             21      alternative channels of distribution;
             22          .    provides for exceptions and limitations regarding the conduct of prescribers and
             23      manufacturers; and
             24          .    provides penalties for violations.
             25      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             26          None
             27      Other Special Clauses:
             28          None
             29      Utah Code Sections Affected:

             30      ENACTS:
             31          58-16a-901, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             32          58-16a-902, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             33          58-16a-903, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             34          58-16a-904, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             35          58-16a-905, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             36          58-16a-906, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             38      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             39          Section 1. Section 58-16a-901 is enacted to read:
Part 9. Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act

             41          58-16a-901. Title.
             42          This part is known as the "Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act."
             43          Section 2. Section 58-16a-902 is enacted to read:
             44          58-16a-902. Policy.
             45          It is the policy of the state that citizens who wear contact lenses pursuant to valid
             46      prescriptions should not be unreasonably denied the opportunity to purchase their contact
             47      lenses from their retailer of choice.
             48          Section 3. Section 58-16a-903 is enacted to read:
             49          58-16a-903. Definitions.
             50          As used in this part:
             51          (1) "Alternative channels of distribution" means any mail order company, Internet
             52      retailer, pharmacy, buying club, department store, or mass merchandise outlet, without regard
             53      to whether it is associated with a prescriber, unless the account meets the definition of a
             54      competitor as provided for in this section.
             55          (2) "Competitor" means an entity that manufactures contact lenses and sells those
             56      lenses within the state in direct competition with any other manufacturer.
             57          (3) "Manufacturer" means a manufacturer, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates,

             58      successors, and assigns.
             59          (4) "Prescriber" means an individual licensed or authorized to prescribe contact lenses
             60      under this title.
             61          Section 4. Section 58-16a-904 is enacted to read:
             62          58-16a-904. Certification of availability of contact lenses -- Exceptions.
             63          (1) Beginning July 1, 2006, a manufacturer of contact lenses doing business in the state
             64      shall certify by affidavit to the Attorney General those brands of contact lenses produced,
             65      marketed, distributed, or sold by the manufacturer in the state that are made available in a
             66      commercially reasonable and nondiscriminatory manner to:
             67          (a) prescribers;
             68          (b) entities associated with prescribers; and
             69          (c) alternative channels of distribution.
             70          (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a manufacturer shall only sell, market,
             71      or distribute lenses in Utah that have been certified under Subsection (1).
             72          (3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to:
             73          (a) rigid gas permeable lenses;
             74          (b) bitoric gas permeable lenses;
             75          (c) bifocal gas permeable lenses;
             76          (d) keratoconus lenses;
             77          (e) custom soft toric lenses that are manufactured for an individual patient and are not
             78      mass marketed or mass produced; and
             79          (f) custom designed lenses that are manufactured for an individual patient and are not
             80      mass marketed or mass produced.
             81          (4) Any time a brand ceases to be made available after July 1, 2006, the manufacturer
             82      shall immediately certify that fact by affidavit to the Attorney General.
             83          Section 5. Section 58-16a-905 is enacted to read:
             84          58-16a-905. Manufacturers' conduct.
             85          Nothing in Section 58-16a-904 is intended to require a manufacturer to:

             86          (1) sell to a competitor;
             87          (2) sell contact lenses to different contact lens distributors or customers at the same
             88      price;
             89          (3) open or maintain any account for a contact lens seller who is not in substantial
             90      compliance with Utah and federal law regarding the sale of contact lenses;
             91          (4) decide whether a low volume account with a contact lens seller is a direct account
             92      or handled through a distributor; or
             93          (5) sell to customers in all geographic areas lenses that are being test marketed on a
             94      limited basis in one geographic area.
             95          Section 6. Section 58-16a-906 is enacted to read:
             96          58-16a-906. Penalties for violations.
             97          (1) Knowingly and intentionally violating Section 58-16a-904 is a class A
             98      misdemeanor.
             99          (2) The attorney general may bring a civil action or seek an injunction and a civil
             100      penalty against a person, entity, or manufacturer who violates Section 58-16a-904 .

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