Utah optometrists won't be affected by a new Federal Trade Commission ruling that overturns widespread laws in other states that restrain economic competition in optometry.
The rule, scheduled to take effect Sept. 1, overturns state laws that prohibit optometrists from owning or working for chain stores, bar optometry offices from shopping malls or stop optometrists from using a trade name over their office.Utah is not one of 44 states that had one or more such laws when the FTC conducted a survey in 1985.
The rule is expected to allow department stores, drug stores and other retail companies to apply mass marketing techniques to the $8.8 billion corrective lens industry, which has been dominated up to now by solo practitioners.
Fifty-three percent of all Americans, and more than 90 percent of the elderly, wear corrective lenses. The average price of new eyeglasses or contacts was $140 in 1987.