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Chapter 430-10 CERTIFICATION FOR USE OF THERAPEUTIC AGENTS

Rule 430-10-.01 Certification Requirements

A doctor of optometry may be certified by the Board to use pharmaceutical agents for treatment purposes only if all of the following conditions are met:

(a) The doctor of optometry is already certified to use pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic purposes;
(b) The doctor of optometry has passed or passes an examination approved by the Board which tests knowledge of pharmacology for treatment and management of ocular diseases; and
(c) Written proof that the doctor of optometry has passed an approved therapeutic examination is received by the Board from the examination provider.

Rule 430-10-.02 Approved Therapeutic Examinations

(1) The following examination has been approved by the Board as meeting the requirements for therapeutic certification:
(a) The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) examination in "Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease" (TMOD).
(2) The Board reserves the right to approve additional examinations for therapeutic certification upon evidence provided to the Board that such examinations adequately test knowledge of pharmacology for treatment and management of ocular diseases.
(3) The only examination approved at this time for certification to use therapeutic agents is the TMOD examination or an equivalency score from the National Board for the content of the TMOD administered with Part 2: Clinical Science.

Rule 430-10-.03 Pharmaceutical Agents

(1) Pharmaceutical agents which are used by a doctor of optometry for treatment purposes may only be:
(a) Non-narcotic oral analgesics, hydrocodone administered orally, and Schedule III or Schedule IV controlled substances which are oral analgesics;
(b) Used for ocular pain; and
(c) Used for no more than 72 hours without consultation with the patient's physician; provided however that with respect to hydrocodone, used for no more than 48 hours without consultation with the patient's physician; or
(d) Other pharmaceutical agents related to the diagnosis or treatment of diseases and conditions of the eye and adnexa oculi except Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances.
(e) Pharmaceutical agents related to the diagnosis or treatment of diseases and conditions of the eye and adnexa oculi by injection, except for sub-tenon, retrobulbar, peribulbar, facial nerve block, subconjunctival anesthetic, dermal filler, intravenous injections, intramuscular injections, intraorbital nerve block, intraocular, or botulinum toxin injections, so long as the licensed optometrist meets the requirements found in the law and the Board's rules regarding injections.
(2) Doctors of optometry using pharmaceutical agents shall be held to the same standard of care imposed by Code Section 51-1-27 as would be applied to a physician licensed under Chapter 34 of this title performing similar acts; provided, however, that a doctor of optometry shall not be authorized to treat systemic diseases.
(3) In addition to the above, the following pharmaceutical agents may be used for treatment purposes, including ocular pain, by any doctor of optometry who has been certified pursuant to O.C.G.A. 43-30-1(2)(A, C & D) to use pharmaceutical agents for treatment purposes:
(a) topical and oral antibiotics;
(b) topical and oral antivirals;
(c) topical and oral antifungals;
(d) topical and oral antiallergy;
(e) topical and oral antiglaucoma;
(f) topical steroids;
(g) topical and oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory;
(h) oral non-narcotic analgesics;
(i) oral narcotic Schedule III or IV analgesics;
(j) hydrocodone as provided above; and,
(k) other pharmaceutical agents related to the diagnosis or treatment of diseases and conditions of the eye and adnexa oculi, except Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances.

Rule 430-10-.04 Enforcement

The license of any doctor of optometry who commits any of the following acts has engaged in unprofessional conduct and shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions pursuant to O.C.G.A. 43-1-19 and 43-30-9:

(a) using any pharmaceutical agent for treatment purposes prior to becoming certified to use such agents by the Board;
(b) using any pharmaceutical agent for treatment purposes which is not contained in Rule 430-10-.03;
(c) administering or prescribing any pharmaceutical agent for treatment purposes before obtaining $1,000,000 in Professional Liability Insurance and becoming certified in Cardiovascular Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Auditing of these requirements will be handled as the auditing for continuing education.