Florida Governor Signs Bill Authorizing Optometrists to Prescribe Ocular Pharmaceutical Agents

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Florida Senate Bill 278 on Friday, April 19, authorizing optometrists in that state to prescribe ocular pharmaceutical agents. The bill will become law on July 1, 2013. Prior to the passage of this bill, Florida law limited optometrists to prescribing topical medications only. An overview of the bill can be found on the Florida Optometric Association website

The new law authorizes a certified optometrist to administer and prescribe ocular pharmaceutical agents, requires a certified optometrist to complete a board-approved course and examination on general and ocular pharmaceutical agents before administering or prescribing those agents, provides conditions under which the holder of an optometric faculty certificate may administer and prescribe oral ocular pharmaceutical agents, and requires a clinical laboratory operated by a licensed practitioner of optometry to be licensed under the Optometry Practice Act

The bill passed the Florida House of Representatives on Thursday, March 21, and it was unanimously approved by the Florida Senate in a 40-0 vote on April 4, 2013, as reported by VMail April 5, 2013.