Tallahassee, FL-At press time, Florida optometrists were awaiting a vote in the Florida Senate appropriations committee on SB278, a bill which would grant additional prescribing authority to optometrists. Previously, the Florida Senate voted 10-0 to approve SB278.
“Originally it was to be voted on by the full Senate as a special calendar item, but it was decided to go the regular, full-three-reading route,” says Kimberly Reed, OD, FAAO, associate professor at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry. Dr. Reed provided testimony during hearings for SB278.
The bill would grant optometrists the ability to prescribe oral medication, in the language of SB278: “requiring a certified optometrist to complete a course and examination on general and ocular pharmaceutical agents before administering or prescribing oral ocular pharmaceutical agents.”
A similar bill, HB239, recently passed the Florida House 116-0. “I am very pleased that we seem to have come to an agreement on this bill. It was the direct result of many discussions by interested individuals working on behalf of the patients in the state of Florida,” says Dr. Reed.ODT