But ODs have powerful allies in state legislature.

New Jersey optometrists are seeking to regain the right to prescribe hydrocodone, following new federal restrictions put into effect in October by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. A bill restoring this prerogative to optometrists has drawn opposition from the Medical Society of New Jersey, the state’s largest group representing physicians. But Sen. Joseph F. Vitale (D-Middlesex) has rejected the Society’s contention that reauthorizing optometrists’ ability to prescribe the drug would harm addiction prevention efforts. A sponsor of the optometrists’ prescription bill, Vitale says that optometrists have a good track record of prescribing hydrocodone.

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