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Optometrists Fight Move to Allow Eyecare at Wal-Mart, Other Stores

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They say the change could hurt the profession.

Optometrists in Oklahoma are fighting an effort to allow eyecare services to be provided inside Wal-Mart and other big-box stores.

Lobbyists with a group called Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom want to begin collecting signatures for a petition to change the state constitution, NewsOK reports. The group’s Gwendolyn Caldwell told the news outlet that the goal is to give consumers “more choices, better prices, convenience.” Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom has the backing of Wal-Mart.

Joel Robinson, head of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, said the proposal is not a good idea, and could make things tough for ECPs in small communities.

If the move succeeds, “then optometry is going to be back under the thumb of the big retailer again, determining what patient care is given and determining what can be sold,” he told the news outlet.

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The Journal Record reports that optometrists have filed a challenge to the petition.

Oklahoma is one of just three states with “a law that prohibits optometrists from practicing in retail locations or maintaining any commercial relationship with a retail optical store,” KGOU reports.

Read more at NewsOK

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