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Legislative Memo

Ken Pokalsky
T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S. 4106 (Boyle) / A. 4530 (Dinowitz)

Support

SUBJECT:

Unilateral pricing policies or agreements for contact lenses.

 

DATE:

March 3, 2016

 

The Business Council opposes this legislation that would prohibit manufacturers and distributors of prescription contact lenses from setting minimum sales prices for retailers.

The medical device industry is a significant component of New York’s economy, contributing in excess of $7 billion on an annual basis and supporting 47,000 jobs, with a number of significant manufacturing facilities around the state.

This legislation will adversely impact the contact lens industry by reducing the effectiveness of its distribution strategies; thereby disincentivize manufacturers from selling their product in New York State.

Moreover, this legislation sets a dangerous precedent by banning marketing practices that are commonplace and lawful, raising the potential for similar invasive regulations affecting other industries.

Nearly all consumer products manufactured or distributed in the United States are the subject of some distribution restrictions.  Manufacturers are allowed to maintain control over the distribution of their product, and are allowed to terminate relationships with those who did not use these prices – practices upheld by the United States Supreme Court in its Colgate and Monsanto decisions.  Adoption of S.4106 / A.4530 would violate this pre-established case law.

Finally, we reject the sponsor’s argument that consumers have virtually no choice in their contact lenses, and therefore contact lenses are a unique product requiring unique, industry-specific marketing regulations.  Patients can and do discuss contact lens options with their eye care professional (ECP), and different lenses can be prescribed depending on the preferences and needs of their patients.

For these reasons, The Business Council recommends against approval of S.4106 / A.4530.