US judge refuses to block law banning minimum prices for contact lenses; manufacturers oppose

IndustriesAssociated Press

A federal judge is refusing to block a Utah law banning minimum prices for contact lens that has drawn the ire of the nation's largest manufacturers.

In a decision handed down Monday in Salt Lake City, U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said contact-lens makers like Johnson & Johnson and Bausch & Lomb haven't shown that the law is unconstitutional.

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The manufacturers sued the state last month amid an increasingly bitter fight with discount retailers like 1-800-Contacts. They said the law was written at the behest of the Utah-based discounter and minimum prices help eye doctors make recommendations.

The law's sponsor has said it fosters competition.

The measure set to take effect Tuesday targets a program that has manufacturers yanking their products if retailers sell them at too steep a discount.