- Associated Press - Sunday, May 17, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Three consumer organizations have asked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to review the composition of Oklahoma’s numerous licensing boards to determine whether board members are vulnerable to criminal and civil antitrust actions.

Letters were sent to Pruitt and the attorneys general of other states following a U.S. Supreme Court decision in February urging them to review state licensing boards that are comprised primarily of participants in the professions and trades the boards regulate to determine whether they may be at risk of violating antitrust laws, The Oklahoman reported Sunday (https://bit.ly/1Ad8R6J ).

The Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision, Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, Oklahoma Board of Nursing and Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy are among numerous state boards that could be affected.

The letters were written by representatives of Consumers Union, the Citizen Advocacy Center and the Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego School of Law. The groups contend states must change how they regulate and license professions and trades in light of the Supreme Court ruling.

“The new decision holds that a regulatory board controlled by professionals in the market regulated by that board is not immune from antitrust law unless an independent state entity reviews each of its decisions for anti-competitive effect,” the consumer groups said in a news release. “This puts the members of most state regulatory boards at risk of criminal charges and possible treble damages.”

A spokesman for Pruitt, Aaron Cooper, said the office is evaluating the request.

State Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, believes the Supreme Court ruling could have major implications in Oklahoma. Morrissette recently conducted a Legislative inquiry into whether the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision violated the due process rights of Tulsa orthopedic surgeon Steven Anagnost in an effort to discredit the doctor, who was a medical competitor.

Lyle Kelsey, executive director of the medical board, said the board feels “pretty comfortable” it’s complying with the intent of the ruling.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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