Opposed by ophthalmologists, a bill has been in committee for 13 years.

While the move to expand optometrists’ field of practice is gaining ground elsewhere, eyecare professionals in New York State are rumbling over the legislature’s 13-year delay in addressing a bill that would allow ODs to dispense prescription drugs. The primary opposition to the bill, which remains in committee in both state houses, comes from ophthalmologists, says Christopher Colburn, the president-elect of New York State Optometric Association. “Patients are coming into our offices expecting to be treated for their eye conditions and being told they have to go elsewhere for multiple appointments, sometimes with practitioners who are not as well versed in eye care as we are,” he says.

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