Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation
Florida Optometry Drug Bill Passes

Are Florida Chiropractors Next?

The Florida Optometric Association (FOA) reports that their Florida Optometry Drug Bill (HB 239) has unanimously passed the House and Senate and that within several days, the bill will be sent to Governor Rick Scott for his consideration.

According to Dr. Kenneth W. Lawson FOA Legislative Chair, the bill will for the first time give optometrists oral drug prescriptive authority. According to the FOA, these oral medications and their generic or therapeutic equivalents include specific antibiotics, antiviral's, analgesics, and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. The use of an injecting "epi-pen" was also authorized for the treatment of anaphylaxis.

According to the FOA - Certified optometrists can administer and prescribe oral pharmaceutical agents upon passing a 20 hour on-line course and test approved by the Board of Optometry.

Certified optometrists have also been added to the list of medical practitioners authorized to administer and prescribe controlled substances.

The bill also affects the the formulary of topical pharmaceutical agents which will now be determined solely by the Board Of Optometry and includes topical agents that are "appropriate to treat or diagnose ocular diseases and disorders".

The bill also includes a CLIA Lab Waiver for Optometrists’ Use of Lab Tests. So, optometrists are included in the list of medical practitioners authorized to operate a clinical laboratory, to submit specimens for examination by a clinical laboratory, and to bill for in office cultures and tests.

The Bill also clarifies the definition of surgery.

The optometric drug bill comes at a time in the chiropractic profession when there is a major push to add drugs to the scope of practice for chiropractors. What effect the optometric drug bill has on this push within chiropractic in the State of Florida remains to be seen.

Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation