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Bill Number: 1064 Ratification Number: 563 Act Number 501 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: To reauthorize the existence of the South Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry
(A501, R563, S1064)
AN ACT TO REAUTHORIZE THE EXISTENCE OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE
BOARD OF EXAMINERS IN OPTOMETRY FOR SIX YEARS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 40-37-180 AND 40-37-220, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO UNLAWFUL REPRESENTATION OR ADVERTISING PRACTICES BY OPTOMETRISTS, SO AS TO BROADEN AND MORE SPECIFICALLY DEFINE THE PRACTICES WHICH DEAL WITH LIMITS ON COMPETITION AND UNLAWFUL REPRESENTATION AND ADVERTISING; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 40-37-190 RELATING TO THE UNLAWFUL DISCOUNTING OF THE COST OF EYE EXAMINATIONS OR OFFERING THEM AS PREMIUMS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Unlawful representation and advertising by optometrists
SECTION 1. Section 40-37-180 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-37-180. It is unlawful for any person to disseminate, directly or indirectly, or cause to be disseminated any untruthful, deceptive advertisement or representation concerning eye examinations, ophthalmic goods, ophthalmic services, or the practice of optometry. In addition, it is unlawful for a person, partnership, or corporation to disseminate, directly or indirectly, or cause to be disseminated any untruthful, impossible, improbable, misleading, or deceptive advertisement or representation concerning the terms, guarantee, or warranty which relates to the procurement of ophthalmic goods or services.
It is unlawful for a person to offer or give eye examinations, eyeglasses, spectacles, lenses, or any part used in connection with them, as a premium or bonus with merchandise or
in any other manner to induce trade. The provisions of this section do not prohibit giving ophthalmic products incidental to the use of the product being offered nor the offering of a reduced price, sale, or discount on purchases if the following disclosures are made with the offer:
(1) If the offered price is represented as being a reduced price, sale price, or discounted price, the offer must disclose whether the reduced price, sale price, or discounted price is from the offeror's regular selling price, or must disclose any other price and its source which serves as the standard from which the offeror represents the offered price as being a reduced price, sale price, or discounted price.
(2) The date the offer terminates.
It is unlawful for a person to disseminate price information concerning ophthalmic goods and services without including:
(a) whether an advertised price for eyeglasses includes single vision or multi-focal lenses;
(b) whether an advertised price for contact lenses refers to hard or soft contact lenses;
(c) whether an advertised price for ophthalmic materials includes all dispensing fees;
(d) whether an advertised price for ophthalmic materials includes an eye examination;
(e) whether an advertised price for eyeglasses includes both frame and lenses.
Nothing in this chapter prevents a person from using third-party solicitation which does not involve uninvited, in-person solicitation of persons who, because of their particular circumstances, may be vulnerable to undue influences.
Nothing in this chapter prevents a person from making truthful, nondeceptive claims of qualifications and professional affiliations."
Unlawful to use untruthful or deceptive third-party solicitation
SECTION 2. Section 40-37-220(15) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(15) That the holder of a license has been guilty of using third-party solicitation which is untruthful, deceptive, and coercive to obtain patronage."
State Board of Optometry reauthorized
SECTION 3. In accordance with Section 7 of Act 608 of 1978, the existence of the State Board of Examiners in Optometry is reauthorized for six years.
SECTION 4. Section 40-37-190 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.