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Supreme Court will hear N.C. case

Medical Staff Leader Insider, March 20, 2014

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The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced it will hear North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission to determine whether a federal agency has the right to intervene in state medical licensure board decisions. The NCSBDE had issued cease and desist letters to non-dentist teeth-whitening service providers and distributors of teeth-whitening products and equipment. The board cited the North Carolina Dental Practice Act, which stated it is unlawful to practice dentistry in North Carolina without a dental license; and that a person is deemed to be practicing dentistry if that person “[r]emoves stains, accretions or deposits from the human teeth.”

The FTC brought an administrative action against the board, claiming that, through its issuance of the cease and desist letters, NCSBDE was violating federal laws against unfair methods of competition. Accordingly, the state action doctrine did not apply. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the FTC, essentially stating that state medical licensure boards are subject to antitrust laws.

Source: AMA

 



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