On March 6, a lawsuit was filed in Illinois against the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) with Emily Elizabeth Lazarou and Aafaque Akhter representing the class of over 25,000 physicians required by ABPN to purchase MOC from ABPN to maintain their initial ABPN certifications.
The suit includes three counts, two violations of the Sherman Act and one of unjust enrichment. The first alleges, “ABPN’s tying of its initial board certification service and its MOC program is a per se violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.” Count two alleges that ABPN’s creation of its monopoly power as well as its maintenance of its monopoly power in the market for maintenance of certification are violations of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The third count of unjust enrichment alleges that plaintiffs and members of the class conferred a benefit on ABPN in the form of the money and property ABPN wrongfully obtained as a result of physicians being forced to pay inappropriate, unreasonable, and unlawful ABPN MOC fees.
Among the proposed remedies are for ABPN to pay triple damages and return funds by which it has been unjustly enriched, as well as pay legal costs. This suit follows similar class action suits against the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Radiology.