Challenge to Walmart optometry

The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians (OAOP) – an organization representing more than 700 Oklahoma eye doctors – filed a legal challenge to Walmart’s initiative petition to allow big box stores to profit from the practice of optometry.

The OAOP is challenging Walmart’s petition on the basis of “logrolling” or combining different topics into one, a violation of the state’s “single-subject rule” for legislation and constitutional amendments.Walmart’s petition erroneously lumps “optometric physicians” and “opticians” into the same category, allowing big box stores to house both, even though they are very different professions.

“Optometric physicians are doctors who perform surgeries, diagnose and manage chronic eye diseases, and are tasked with detecting potentially life threatening conditions,” said Glenn Coffee, whose Oklahoma City-based law firm has been retained by the OAOP. “The state has decided that it’s better to keep medical professionals like optometrists out of big retail stores like Walmart.

“Opticians, on the other hand, are not licensed medical professionals. They are technical practitioners who dispense and fit corrective lenses. Unfortunately, Walmart’s petition wrongly and unconstitutionally lumps opticians and optometric physicians together, which is why it should be thrown out.”