Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 105. Board of Optometry
Chapter 20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Optometry

18VAC105-20-47. Therapeutic pharmaceutical agents.

A. A TPA-certified optometrist, acting within the scope of his practice, may procure, administer, and prescribe medically appropriate therapeutic pharmaceutical agents (or any therapeutically appropriate combination thereof) to treat diseases and abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa within the following categories:

1. Oral analgesics - Schedule II controlled substances consisting of hydrocodone in combination with acetaminophen and Schedules III, IV, and VI narcotic and nonnarcotic agents.

2. Topically administered Schedule VI agents:

a. Alpha-adrenergic blocking agents;

b. Alpha-adrenergic agonists;

c. Cholinergic agonists;

d. Anesthetic (including esters and amides);

e. Anti-allergy (including antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers);

f. Anti-fungal;

g. Anti-glaucoma (including carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and hyperosmotics);

h. Anti-infective (including antibiotics and antivirals);

i. Anti-inflammatory;

j. Cycloplegics and mydriatics;

k. Decongestants; and

l. Immunosuppressive agents.

3. Orally administered Schedule VI agents:

a. Aminocaproic acids (including antifibrinolytic agents);

b. Anti-allergy (including antihistamines and leukotriene inhibitors);

c. Anti-fungal;

d. Anti-glaucoma (including carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and hyperosmotics);

e. Anti-infective (including antibiotics and antivirals);

f. Anti-inflammatory (including steroidal and nonsteroidal);

g. Decongestants; and

h. Immunosuppressive agents.

B. Schedules I, II, and V drugs are excluded from the list of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents with the exception of controlled substances in Schedule II consisting of hydrocodone in combination with acetaminophen and gabapentin in Schedule V.

C. Over-the-counter topical and oral medications for the treatment of the eye and its adnexa may be procured for administration, administered, prescribed, or dispensed.

D. Beginning July 1, 2020, a prescription for a controlled substance that contains an opioid shall be issued as an electronic prescription consistent with § 54.1-3408.02 of the Code of Virginia, unless the prescription qualifies for an exemption as set forth in subsection C of § 54.1-3408.02. Upon written request, the board may grant a one-time waiver of the requirement for electronic prescribing, for a period not to exceed one year, due to demonstrated economic hardship, technological limitations that are not reasonably within the control of the prescriber, or other exceptional circumstances demonstrated by the prescriber.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 8, eff. December 8, 2004; amended, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 26, eff. September 23, 2015; amended Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019; Volume 36, Issue 9, eff. January 22, 2020; Volume 37, Issue 7, eff. December 9, 2020; Volume 38, Issue 10, eff. February 2, 2022; Volume 38, Issue 18, eff. May 25, 2022.

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