Unilateral minimum pricing policy for contact lenses dropped in US

The company’s media release indicated that Johnson & Johnson is focusing its advocacy efforts to “defend regulation of the contact lens industry”.
The UPP policy, which sets minimum prices for eye doctors who dispense contact lenses, has come under fire from discount sellers such as 1-800 Contacts and Costco in the United States who have taken legal action against it aimed at deregulating contact lens sales.
“The patient comes first,” Dr Millicent Knight, OD, vice-president of professional affairs at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, said.
“We believe that it is in the best interest of the patient to see an eye doctor on a regular basis, and we will continue to advocate state by state to protect that relationship.
“Johnson & Johnson Vision Care has a long history of education and advocacy on the issues that matter most to our patients, doctors and customers, and we’re more active than ever before across the country working for the future of patient eye and overall health.”
Its new approach is said to include category growth initiatives and a rewards program that allows patients to submit for savings before they leave their eye-care professional’s office.
According to the media statent, the new initiatives will further improve patient affordability and access and unlike current programs used in the industry, the rewards program will be simple and convenient for patients and eye-care practitioners’ staff.
1-800 Contacts won a victory in May 2015 when a federal judge in Utah refused to side with allegations by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Alcon and Bausch + Lomb that the Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act was unconstitutional. That law prevents contact lens manufacturers from requiring all contact lens distributors to adhere to the UPP that establishes minimum retail prices.
The three contact lens manufacturers sued to strike down the law, saying it benefits 1-800 Contacts and had the unconstitutional effect of changing lens pricing nationwide through online sales.
The Utah case argues those are considered in-state transactions, no matter where the customer is located. The case reached the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in August. The judges allowed the law to take effect before issuing a final ruling.

Send this to a friend