Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 35.1

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-35.1-12

§ 5-35.1-12. Use and prescription of pharmaceutical agents for ocular conditions — Optometrists training and certification.

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, amplified optometrists of this state may use and prescribe pharmaceutical agents in the treatment of conditions of the human eye and its appendages, without the use of surgery or other invasive techniques; provided, that all qualified optometrists shall be permitted to become amplified optometrists in accordance with the requirements of subsection (c) of this section and all other requirements of this chapter; and provided, further, that drugs contained in Schedule III of chapter 28 of title 21 and hydrocodone-containing medications shall be prescribed for no more than seventy-two (72) hours; and that no optometrist shall deliver any medication by injection.

(b) The director shall issue regulations governing the prescribing of oral pharmaceutical agents, including oral steroids and Schedule III narcotic and non-narcotic analgesics, within the scope of the optometrist’s practice.

(c) To be newly licensed as an amplified optometrist, a qualified optometrist must meet the qualifications of § 5-35.1-2 and must provide evidence to the department that he or she has satisfactorily:

(1) Completed at least thirty (30) hours of clinical experience in the treatment of ocular disease with pharmaceutical agents, consistent with current graduate degree requirements for optometric education either within a four-year (4) period immediately prior to the date of application or as otherwise determined by the board; and

(2) Completed a course in pharmacology, as it applies to optometry, at an approved institution accredited by a regional, professional, or academic accreditation organization.

Further, to maintain amplified-optometrist-licensure status, all amplified optometrists must submit, upon request, evidence of an average of at least five (5) hours of continuing education in pharmacology per year.

(d) The director, before issuing the regulations, shall request and consider recommendations that may be submitted by the board of optometry.

(e) The board shall require optometrists to adhere to electronic prescribing standards within thirty (30) months of receiving prescriptive authority as defined in subsection (a) of this section.

History of Section.
P.L. 2008, ch. 305, § 2; P.L. 2008, ch. 433, § 2; P.L. 2009, ch. 310, § 31; P.L. 2014, ch. 422, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 457, § 1.