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NY Optometrists Win Right to Prescribe Oral Drugs

The state was the last holdout in the U.S.




Optometrists in New York have won the right to prescribe oral medications for ocular conditions.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the scope expansion into law on Oct. 25, the American Optometric Association reports.

According to AOA: “Although diagnostic and therapeutic topical drugs have been authorized for optometry since the mid-1980s and 1990s, respectively, New York remained the only state in the nation prohibiting oral prescribing authority after Massachusetts enhanced its scope of practice earlier this year.”

AOA notes that under provisions of the law, ODs “must be certified to prescribe oral medications for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension, must complete an oral therapeutic drug certification course, and must complete an examination unless having graduated from an accredited college of optometry and passed board examinations after the law takes effect, Jan. 1, 2023.”

Dawn Chivers, OD, New York State Optometric Association past president and legislative chair, says: “Having worked on this legislation for 15 years, I am thrilled that New York state optometrists will be able to treat our patients the way they deserve to be treated, consistent with the standard of care set across the rest of the country. This could not have happened without the efforts of the incredible SUNY College of Optometry and the grassroots efforts of hundreds of optometrists across the state.”

Read more from the AOA.



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