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GA ODs gain expanded prescription authority

May 23, 2013

New revisions to Georgia’s optometric scope-of-practice law allow use of any appropriate drug distribution modalities, provided they are neither surgical nor injectable, in addition to traditional oral or topical administration.

Georgia optometrists can now also use emerging pharmaceutical administration methods, such as nasal sprays and drug-dispensing contact lenses, when administering or prescribing ocular therapeutics for patients.

The revisions authorize optometrists to prescribe oral hydrocodone for 48 hours without needing to consult patients’ primary physicians and corticosteroids for up to 14 days.

In addition to the new prescribing provisions, the new law requires optometrists older than 65 to take continuing education (CE) courses to maintain licensure. Previous law exempted them from the CE requirement.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the revisions into law in early May, according to Bryan Markowitz, executive director of the Georgia Optometric Association. They took effect immediately.

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