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The Physician and Antitrust Law

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Legal Aspects of Medicine
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Abstract

For many years the learned professions enjoyed immunity from antitrust regulation. The basis for this immunity was that physicians were not thought to be engaged in the kind of commercial activity for which the Sherman Act and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act were intended. In 1975, the US Supreme Court ended that immunity by declaring that the scope of antitrust law included the business activities of the professions. It gave no indication of exactly how antitrust regulation was to be applied to medicine. Since then numerous legal actions have been taken against physicians or physician groups to curb what government has perceived to be “anticompetitive” activities. These actions have been resisted by organized medicine in the courts and in the Congress, but to no avail.

Reprinted and revised, with permission, from the New England Journal of Medicine, which holds the copyright.

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© 1989 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

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Relman, A.S. (1989). The Physician and Antitrust Law. In: Vevaina, J.R., Bone, R.C., Kassoff, E. (eds) Legal Aspects of Medicine. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-4534-6_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-4534-6_7

  • Publisher Name: Springer, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4612-8867-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4612-4534-6

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive

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