Bill expands prescribing powers for optometrists
Florida Senate gives final approval to bill expanding drug-prescribing powers of optometrists
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Senate has sent to Gov. Rick Scott a long-debated bill that would expand the drug-prescribing powers of optometrists.
The bill (HB 239) would allow optometrists to prescribe oral medications to treat eye diseases. Currently, they are limited to prescribing "topical" medications, such as drops, and have to refer patients to ophthalmologists for conditions requiring oral drugs.
State senators voted 40-0 Thursday to pass the bill, which cleared the House earlier in the session. If Scott signs the bill into law, it will conclude a turf battle pitting optometrists and ophthalmologists that dragged on for years.
Opponents of such measures have said optometrists don't have the same level of training as ophthalmologists.
Optometrists noted that 47 other states already allow optometrists to prescribe oral medication to treat eye diseases.
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