PA 09-58—sSB 781

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THERAPEUTIC CONTACT LENSES

SUMMARY: This act allows licensed (1) optometrists authorized to practice advanced optometric care to acquire, prescribe, dispense, and charge for contact lenses containing ocular agents-T and (2) prescribing physicians and surgeons to dispense and sell contact lenses that contain a drug. (It appears that “drug,” in this context, is not limited to ocular-agents-T. ) “Physician,” under the act, does not include a homeopathic physician.

The act specifies that optometrists, physicians, and surgeons dispensing or selling contact lenses containing ocular agents-T or drugs do not have to meet requirements of existing law on packaging and labeling of drug containers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

BACKGROUND

Advanced Optometric Care

The law recognizes a category of optometric practice known as “advanced optometric care. ” It allows optometrists to perform a broader range of activities, including nonsurgical treatment of glaucoma patients. They must meet additional educational and testing requirements and be able to use certain drugs for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in order to practice advanced optometric care. There is no separate Department of Public Health license for advanced optometric care.

As of January 1, 2005, the law requires an individual applying for initial licensure as an optometrist to meet the requirements to practice advanced optometric care.

Ocular Agents-T

“Ocular agents-T” are (1) topically administered ophthalmic agents and orally administered antibiotics, antihistamines, and antiviral agents used for treating or alleviating the effects of eye disease or abnormal conditions of the eye or eyelid, excluding the lacrimal drainage system and glands (tears) and structures behind the iris, but including the treatment of iritis, and (2) orally administered analgesic agents for alleviating pain caused by these diseases or conditions.

OLR Tracking: JK: KS: SS: TS