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Effort to Undo State’s New Optometry Law Fails

But an appeal could be on the way.

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An effort to hold a referendum on a new Arkansas law expanding the privileges of optometrists has failed.

To get the issue on the November 2020 ballot, referendum supporters needed about 53,500 signatures from registered voters, The Associated Press reported. Secretary of State John Thurston said they turned in 23,953.

More than 84,000 signatures were submitted, but supporters of the law said many weren’t valid because proper documents weren’t filed.

The legislation, signed into law in March, permits optometrists to perform certain surgeries.

Safe Surgery Arkansas, a group of medical doctors, hoped to use a ballot referendum to roll back the legislation. And the group is ready to challenge in court the rejection of the petition.

Alex Gray, an attorney for the group, was quoted saying: “This issue is too important for special interests to get in the way of the right of the people to vote for safer eye surgery.”

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Procedures that the legislation allows optometrists to perform include selective laser trabeculoplasty and Nd:YAG laser procedures, along with injections (excluding intravenous and intraocular), removal of lid lesions and chalazion incision and curettage.

The bill called on the Arkansas Board of Optometry to establish credentialing requirements for optometrists to perform these laser procedures, as well as require those doctors to report the outcomes of their procedures to the board.

Read more at The Associated Press

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Alcon’s Pataday Eye Allergy Meds Get FDA Nod for Nonprescription Use

They’ll no longer be sold as prescription drugs.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two Alcon eye allergy products for over-the-counter use through a process called a “prescription (Rx)-to-OTC switch.”

The FDA gave the OK to these medications for nonprescription use:

  • Pataday Twice Daily Relief (olopatadine HCl ophthalmic solution/drops, 0.1%) for the temporary relief of itchy and red eyes due to pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair or dander.
  • Pataday Once Daily Relief (olopatadine HCl ophthalmic solution/drops, 0.2%) for the temporary relief of itchy eyes due to pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair or dander.

“As a result of the Rx-to-OTC switch process, many products sold over-the-counter today use ingredients or dosage strengths that were available only by prescription 30 years ago,” said Karen Mahoney, MD, acting deputy director of the Office of Nonprescription Drugs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Approval of a wider range of nonprescription drugs has the potential to improve public health by increasing the types of drugs consumers can access and use that would otherwise only be available by prescription. This includes providing the millions of people that suffer with joint pain from arthritis daily over-the-counter access to another non-opioid treatment option.”

For a drug to switch to nonprescription status, the data provided must demonstrate that the drug is safe and effective for use in self-medication as directed in proposed labeling. The manufacturer must show that consumers can understand how to use the drug safely and effectively without the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Pataday Twice Daily Relief was first approved by the FDA in 1996 under the name Patanol as a prescription drug and was indicated for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis (referring to ocular redness and itching due to allergies). Pataday – now Pataday Once Daily Relief – was first approved by the FDA in 2004 as a prescription drug and was indicated for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. These drugs are mast cell stabilizers, which work by preventing the release of histamine and therefore prevent or control allergic disorders.

The products will be marketed in the U.S. as nonprescription drugs and will no longer be available as prescription drugs.

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Optical Centers Planned for 4 Oklahoma Sam’s Club Stores As a Result of New Law

They’re expected to open within the next few months.

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Optical centers will open in four Sam’s Club stores in Oklahoma City, KFOR-TV reports.

The plans follow the passage of legislation allowing optometrists to practice within retail settings. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the bill into law in May 2019.

The optical centers are expected to open within the next few months. and 10 more centers are expected to open in the state by summer, according to KFOR.

Retailers are permitted to sell lenses and frames under the new legislation. But optometrists cannot be employees of retailers.

The law also does not allow retailers have control over any aspect of the eye exam.

The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians has stated that the new legislation “will protect Oklahoma’s vision health standards while increasing convenience for consumers.”

Read more at KFOR-TV

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Video: Burglar Makes Off with $19K in Eyewear

The crime took place at about 7 p.m. on Sunday.

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A burglar made off with more than $19,000 in frames from the office of a California ECP.

The thief took 82 frames from Signature Optometry in Freson, CA, YourCentralValley.com reports.

The burgalry occurred at about 7 p.m. on Sunday. Dr. Chris Fisher, owner of the business, was alerted when five alarms went off.

He was quoted saying: “It was a mess. There were frames on the floor, there was garbage on the floor, there was glass all over the front.”

The crime remains under investigation.

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