Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 32. Optometry
6/18/2021

Chapter 32. Optometry.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 54.1-3200. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Board" means the Board of Optometry.

"Optometrist" means any person practicing the profession of optometry as defined in this chapter and the regulations of the Board.

"Practice of optometry" means the examination of the human eye to ascertain the presence of defects or abnormal conditions which may be corrected or relieved by the use of lenses, prisms or ocular exercises, visual training or orthoptics; the employment of any subjective or objective mechanism to determine the accommodative or refractive states of the human eye or range or power of vision of the human eye; the use of testing appliances for the purpose of the measurement of the powers of vision; the examination, diagnosis, and optometric treatment in accordance with this chapter, of conditions and visual or muscular anomalies of the human eye; the use of diagnostic pharmaceutical agents set forth in § 54.1-3221; and the prescribing or adapting of lenses, prisms or ocular exercises, visual training or orthoptics for the correction, relief, remediation or prevention of such conditions. An optometrist may treat certain diseases or abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa with certain therapeutic pharmaceutical agents only as permitted under this chapter. The practice of optometry also includes the evaluation, examination, diagnosis, and treatment of abnormal or diseased conditions of the human eye and its adnexa by the use of medically recognized and appropriate devices, procedures, or technologies. However, the practice of optometry does not include treatment through surgery, including laser surgery, other invasive modalities, or the use of injections, including venipuncture and intravenous injections, except as provided in § 54.1-3222 or for the treatment of emergency cases of anaphylactic shock with intramuscular epinephrine.

"TPA-certified optometrist" means an optometrist who is licensed under this chapter and who has successfully completed the requirements for TPA certification established by the Board pursuant to Article 5 (§ 54.1-3222 et seq.). Such certification shall enable an optometrist to prescribe and administer Schedule II controlled substances consisting of hydrocodone in combination with acetaminophen and Schedules III through VI controlled substances and devices as set forth in the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) to treat diseases, including abnormal conditions, of the human eye and its adnexa, as determined by the Board. Such certification shall not, however, permit treatment through surgery, including, but not limited to, laser surgery, other invasive modalities, or the use of injections, including venipuncture and intravenous injections, except as provided in § 54.1-3222 or for treatment of emergency cases of anaphylactic shock with intramuscular epinephrine.

The foregoing shall not restrict the authority of any optometrist licensed or certified under this chapter for the removal of superficial foreign bodies from the human eye and its adnexa or from delegating to personnel in his personal employ and supervised by him, such activities or functions as are nondiscretionary and do not require the exercise of professional judgment for their performance and which are usually or customarily delegated to such persons by optometrists, if such activities or functions are authorized by and performed for such optometrists and responsibility for such activities or functions is assumed by such optometrists.

Code 1950, § 54-368; 1988, cc. 243, 737, 765; 1991, c. 290; 1996, cc. 152, 158, 365, 436; 2004, c. 744; 2015, c. 355; 2018, c. 280.

§ 54.1-3201. What constitutes practice of optometry.

Any person who in any way advertises himself as an optometrist or uses the title of doctor of optometry (O.D.) or any other letters or title in connection with his name which in any way conveys the impression that he is engaged in the practice of optometry shall be deemed to be practicing optometry within the meaning of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 54-368; 1988, cc. 243, 737, 765.

§ 54.1-3202. Exemptions.

This chapter shall not apply to:

1. Physicians licensed to practice medicine by the Board of Medicine or to prohibit the sale of nonprescription eyeglasses and sunglasses; or

2. Any optometrist rendering free health care to an underserved population in Virginia who (i) does not regularly practice optometry in Virginia, (ii) holds a current valid license or certificate to practice optometry in another state, territory, district or possession of the United States, (iii) volunteers to provide free health care in an underserved area of this Commonwealth under the auspices of a publicly supported all volunteer, nonprofit organization that sponsors the provision of health care to populations of underserved people, (iv) files a copy of his license or certification in such other jurisdiction with the Board, (v) notifies the Board at least five business days prior to the voluntary provision of services of the dates and location of such service, and (vi) acknowledges, in writing, that such licensure exemption shall only be valid, in compliance with the Board's regulations, during the limited period that such free health care is made available through the volunteer, nonprofit organization on the dates and at the location filed with the Board. The Board may deny the right to practice in Virginia to any optometrist whose license or certificate has been previously suspended or revoked, who has been convicted of a felony or who is otherwise found to be in violation of applicable laws or regulations. However, the Board shall allow an optometrist who meets the above criteria to provide volunteer services without prior notice for a period of up to three days, provided the nonprofit organization verifies that the practitioner has a valid, unrestricted license in another state.

Code 1950, § 54-369; 1988, c. 765; 2002, c. 740; 2008, c. 674; 2009, cc. 353, 761.

§ 54.1-3203. License to be displayed.

Every person practicing optometry shall display his license in a conspicuous place in the principal office in which he practices.

Code 1950, § 54-386; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3204. Prohibited acts.

It shall be unlawful for any person:

1. To practice optometry in this Commonwealth without holding a license issued by the Board. Practicing or offering to practice optometry, or the public representation of being qualified to practice the same by any person not authorized to practice optometry, shall be sufficient evidence of a violation of the law.

2. To impersonate a licensed optometrist of like or different name.

3. To buy or sell or fraudulently obtain a diploma or license.

4. To do any act for which if he were an optometrist his license could be revoked as provided by this chapter.

5. To possess any trial lenses, trial frames, graduated test cards, appliances or instruments used in the practice of optometry, self-testing devices or eyeglass vending machines for the purpose of fitting or prescribing glasses in the practice of optometry, unless he is or unless he regularly employs on the premises a licensed optometrist or a licensed physician.

6. To publish or cause to be published in any manner an advertisement that is false, deceptive or misleading, contains a claim of professional superiority or violates regulations of the Board governing advertising by optometrists.

7. To sell, provide, furnish, supply or duplicate eyeglasses, or lenses for the correction of vision without the prescription of a licensed physician or licensed optometrist, unless he is the holder of a license to practice optometry or a license to practice medicine under the laws of this Commonwealth.

8. To sell or dispense contact lenses, including plano or cosmetic lenses, without holding a license issued by the Board. This subdivision shall not apply to a licensed optician operating or working in a retail establishment, when selling or dispensing contact lenses, including plano or cosmetic lenses, upon the valid written prescription of an individual licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy, or a licensed optometrist.

9. To dispense, administer, or sell an ophthalmic device containing Schedule III, IV, or VI controlled substances or an over-the-counter medication without holding a license issued by the Board, including TPA certification. An "ophthalmic device" shall mean any device, as defined in the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) customarily used primarily for ophthalmic purposes, including an ophthalmic device classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration as a drug. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude a pharmacist from dispensing an ophthalmic device, as defined in this subsection, upon the written and valid prescription of an optometrist, providing the patient is then advised by the pharmacist to return for follow-up care to the optometrist prescribing the ophthalmic device.

The provisions of this section shall be enforced in accordance with this chapter and § 54.1-2506.

Code 1950, § 54-396; 1976, c. 758; 1977, c. 161; 1979, c. 39; 1988, c. 765; 2009, cc. 353, 761.

§ 54.1-3205. Practicing in a commercial or mercantile establishment.

A. It shall be unlawful for any optometrist to practice his profession as a lessee of or in a commercial or mercantile establishment, or to advertise, either in person or through any commercial or mercantile establishment, that he is a licensed practitioner and is practicing or will practice optometry as a lessee of or in the commercial or mercantile establishment.

B. No licensed optometrist shall practice optometry as an employee, directly or indirectly, of a commercial or mercantile establishment, unless such commercial or mercantile establishment was employing a full-time licensed optometrist in its established place of business on June 21, 1938.

C. For the purposes of this section, the term "commercial or mercantile establishment" means a business enterprise engaged in the selling of commodities.

D. For the purposes of this section, an optometrist shall be deemed to be practicing in a commercial or mercantile establishment if he practices, whether directly or indirectly, as an officer, employee, lessee or agent of any person or entity in any location that provides direct access to or from a commercial or mercantile establishment. Direct access includes any entrance or exit, except an entrance or exit closed to the public and used solely for emergency egress pursuant to applicable state and local building and fire safety codes, that prohibits a person from exiting the building or structure occupied by such practice or establishment (i) onto an exterior sidewalk or public way or (ii) into a common area that is not under the control of either the optometry practice or the commercial or mercantile establishment, such as into the common areas of an enclosed shopping mall. For the purposes of this section, neither an optometric practice nor an ophthalmologic practice which sells eyeglasses or contact lenses ancillary to its practice shall be deemed a commercial or mercantile establishment. Further, any entity that is engaged in the sale of eyeglasses or contact lenses, the majority of the beneficial ownership of which is owned by an ophthalmologic practice and/or one or more ophthalmologists, shall not be deemed a commercial or mercantile establishment.

E. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the rendering of professional services to the officers and employees of any person, firm or corporation by an optometrist, whether or not the compensation for such service is paid by the officers and employees, or by the employer, or jointly by all or any of them.

Code 1950, §§ 54-388, 54-397.1; 1968, c. 505; 1976, c. 758; 1977, c. 161; 1979, c. 39; 1988, c. 765; 2005, cc. 711, 720.

§ 54.1-3205.1. Supervision by unlicensed persons prohibited.

No optometrist shall be directly or indirectly supervised within the scope of the practice of optometry by any officer, employee, or agent of a commercial or mercantile establishment, as defined in subsection C of § 54.1-3205, who is not a Virginia-licensed optometrist or physician. No officer, employee, or agent of a commercial or mercantile establishment, who is not a Virginia-licensed optometrist or physician, shall directly or indirectly control, dictate, or influence the professional judgment, including but not limited to the level or type of care or services rendered, of the practice of optometry by a licensed optometrist.

1990, c. 307.

§ 54.1-3206. Report of conviction or injunction to Board; revocation or suspension of license.

It shall be the duty of the clerk of every circuit court in which any person is convicted of any violation of this chapter or enjoined from unlawfully practicing optometry to report the same to the Board. The Board may thereupon suspend or revoke any certificate or license held by the person so convicted or enjoined. Every such report shall be directed to the secretary of the Board.

1979, c. 39, § 54-398.02; 1988, c. 765.

Article 2. Board of Optometry.

§ 54.1-3207. Board of Optometry.

The Board shall be composed of six members as follows: five licensed optometrists and one citizen member. Licensed optometrists appointed to the Board shall be individuals who, at the time of appointment, (i) have been engaged in the practice of optometry for at least five years, (ii) have met all requirements for practice as an optometrist set forth in this chapter and are qualified to engage in the full scope of the practice of optometry, and (iii) are actively engaged in the delivery of clinical care to patients. The terms of office of the members shall be four years.

Code 1950, §§ 54-371, 54-375; 1979, c. 39; 1986, c. 464; 1988, cc. 42, 765; 1996, cc. 152, 158; 2019, c. 340.

§ 54.1-3208. Nominations.

Nominations may be made for each professional vacancy from a list of at least three names submitted to the Governor by the Virginia Optometric Association, Incorporated. The Governor may notify the Association promptly of any professional vacancy other than by expiration and like nominations may be made for the filling of the vacancy. In no case shall the Governor be bound to make any appointment from among the nominees of the Association.

Code 1950, § 54-372; 1986, c. 464; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3209. Oaths and testimony.

Any member of the Board may, upon being designated by a majority of the Board, administer oaths or take testimony concerning any matter within the jurisdiction of the Board.

Code 1950, § 54-377; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3210. Seal; executive director.

The Board shall adopt a seal of which the executive director shall have the custody. The executive director shall keep a record of all proceedings of the Board, which shall be open to the public for inspection.

Code 1950, § 54-378; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3211. Examination.

The Board shall set the necessary standards to be attained in the examinations to entitle the candidate to receive a license to practice optometry.

The examination shall be given at least semiannually if there are any candidates who have applied to the Board for examination at least 30 days before the date for the examination.

The examination shall include anatomy; physiology; pathology; general and ocular pharmacology designed to test knowledge of the proper use, characteristics, pharmacological effects, indications, contraindications and emergency care associated with the use of diagnostic pharmaceutical agents; and the use of the appropriate instruments.

The Board may determine a score that it considers satisfactory on any written examination of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. The Board may waive its examination for a person who achieves a satisfactory score on the examination of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

Those persons licensed on or before June 30, 1997, to practice optometry in this state but not certified to administer diagnostic pharmaceutical agents may continue to practice optometry but may not administer diagnostic pharmaceutical agents without satisfying the requirements of this section. Those persons licensed after June 30, 1997, shall be considered as certified to administer diagnostic pharmaceutical agents. After June 30, 2004, every person who is initially licensed to practice optometry in Virginia shall meet the qualifications for a TPA-certified optometrist.

Code 1950, §§ 54-380 through 54-382; 1972, c. 824; 1973, c. 90; 1988, c. 765; 1996, cc. 365, 436; 2004, c. 744.

Article 3. Licensure of Optometrists.

§ 54.1-3212. Qualifications of applicants.

An application for a license to practice optometry shall be made in writing and shall be accompanied by satisfactory proof that the applicant has been graduated and received a doctor of optometry degree from a school of optometry approved by the Board.

Code 1950, § 54-382; 1972, c. 824; 1973, c. 90; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3213. Issuance of license; fee; renewal.

Every candidate successfully passing the examination shall be licensed by the Board as possessing the qualifications required by law to practice optometry.

The fee for examination and licensure shall be prescribed by the Board and shall be paid to the executive director of the Board by the applicant upon filing his application.

Every license to practice optometry granted under the provisions of this chapter shall be renewed at such time, in such manner and upon payment of such fees as the Board may prescribe.

Code 1950, §§ 54-383, 54-393, 54-394; 1970, c. 341; 1976, c. 32; 1977, c. 161; 1979, c. 39; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-3214. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2016, c. 92, cl. 1.

§ 54.1-3215. Reprimand, revocation and suspension.

The Board may revoke or suspend a license or reprimand the licensee for any of the following causes:

1. Fraud or deceit in his practice;

2. Conviction of any felony under the laws of the Commonwealth, another state, the District of Columbia or any United States possession or territory or of any misdemeanor under such laws involving moral turpitude;

3. Conducting his practice in such a manner as to endanger the health and welfare of his patients or the public;

4. Use of alcohol or drugs to the extent such use renders him unsafe to practice optometry or mental or physical illness rendering him unsafe to practice optometry;

5. Knowingly and willfully employing an unlicensed person to do anything for which a license to practice optometry is required;

6. Practicing optometry while suffering from any infectious or contagious disease;

7. Neglecting or refusing to display his license and the renewal receipt for the current year;

8. Obtaining of any fee by fraud or misrepresentation or the practice of deception or fraud upon any patient;

9. Advertising which directly or indirectly deceives, misleads or defrauds the public, claims professional superiority, or offers free optometrical services or examinations;

10. Employing, procuring, or inducing a person not licensed to practice optometry to so practice;

11. Aiding or abetting in the practice of optometry any person not duly licensed to practice in this Commonwealth;

12. Advertising, practicing or attempting to practice optometry under a name other than one's own name as set forth on the license;

13. Lending, leasing, renting or in any other manner placing his license at the disposal or in the service of any person not licensed to practice optometry in this Commonwealth;

14. Splitting or dividing a fee with any person or persons other than with a licensed optometrist who is a legal partner or comember of a professional limited liability company formed to engage in the practice of optometry;

15. Practicing optometry where any officer, employee, or agent of a commercial or mercantile establishment, as defined in subsection C of § 54.1-3205, who is not licensed in Virginia to practice optometry or medicine directly or indirectly controls, dictates, or influences the professional judgment, including but not limited to the level or type of care or services rendered, of the licensed optometrist;

16. Violating other standards of conduct as adopted by the Board;

17. Violating, assisting, inducing or cooperating with others in violating any provisions of law relating to the practice of optometry, including the provisions of this chapter, or of any regulation of the Board.

Code 1950, § 54-388; 1968, c. 505; 1976, c. 758; 1977, c. 161; 1979, c. 39; 1988, c. 765; 1990, c. 307; 1992, c. 574; 1999, c. 937.

§ 54.1-3216. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2004, c. 64.

§ 54.1-3217. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1997, c. 556.

§ 54.1-3218. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2003, cc. 753 and 762.

§ 54.1-3219. Continuing education.

A. As a prerequisite to renewal of a license or reinstatement of a license, each optometrist shall be required to complete 20 hours of continuing education relating to optometry, as approved by the Board, each year. A licensee who completes more than 20 hours of continuing education in a year shall be allowed to carry forward up to 10 hours of continuing education for the next annual renewal cycle. The courses shall include, but need not be limited to, the utilization and application of new techniques, scientific and clinical advances, and new achievements of research. The Board shall prescribe criteria for approval of courses of study. The Board may approve alternative courses upon timely application of any licensee. Fulfillment of education requirements shall be certified to the Board upon a form provided by the Board and shall be submitted by each licensed optometrist at the time he applies to the Board for the renewal of his license. The Board may waive individual requirements in cases of certified illness or undue hardship.

B. Of the 20 hours of continuing education relating to optometry required pursuant to subsection A:

1. At least 10 hours shall be obtained through real-time, interactive activities, including in-person or electronic presentations, provided that during the course of the presentation, the licensee and the lecturer may communicate with one another;

2. No more than two hours may consist of courses related to recordkeeping, including coding for diagnostic and treatment devices and procedures or the management of an optometry practice, provided that such courses are not primarily for the purpose of augmenting the licensee's income or promoting the sale of specific instruments or products; and

3. For TPA-certified optometrists, at least 10 hours shall be in the areas of ocular and general pharmacology, diagnosis and treatment of the human eye and its adnexa, including treatment with new pharmaceutical agents, or new or advanced clinical devices, techniques, modalities, or procedures.

C. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent or limit the authority of the Board to require additional hours or types of continuing education as part or in lieu of disciplinary action.

1976, c. 32, § 54-394.1; 1988, c. 765; 2016, c. 89.

Article 4. Certification for Administration of Diagnostic Pharmaceutical Agents.

§ 54.1-3220. Certification for administration of diagnostic pharmaceutical agents.

In order to become certified to administer diagnostic pharmaceutical agents for the purpose of examining and determining abnormal or diseased conditions of the human eye or related structures, an optometrist shall:

1. Complete successfully a Board-approved course in general and ocular pharmacology as it relates to the practice of optometry which shall consist of at least fifty-five classroom hours including a minimum of fifteen classroom hours in general pharmacology, twenty classroom hours in ocular pharmacology and twenty classroom hours of clinical laboratory presented by a college or university accredited by a regional or professional accreditation organization which is recognized or approved by the Council on Post Secondary Accreditation or by the United States Department of Education.

2. Pass a Board-approved, performance-based examination on general and ocular pharmacology designed to test knowledge of the proper use, characteristics, pharmacological effects, indications, contraindications and emergency care associated with the use of diagnostic pharmaceutical agents as defined in this article.

1983, c. 6, § 54-386.1; 1988, c. 765; 1996, cc. 365, 436.

§ 54.1-3221. "Diagnostic pharmaceutical agents" defined; utilization; acquisition.

A. Certified optometrists may administer diagnostic pharmaceutical agents only by topical application to the human eye. "Diagnostic pharmaceutical agents" shall be defined as Schedule VI controlled substances as set forth in the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) that are used for the purpose of examining and determining abnormal or diseased conditions of the human eye or related structures.

B. Any optometrist who utilizes diagnostic pharmaceutical agents without being certified as required by this article shall be subject to the disciplinary sanctions provided in this chapter.

C. Licensed drug suppliers or pharmacists are authorized to supply optometrists with diagnostic pharmaceutical agents upon presentation of evidence of Board certification for administration of such drugs.

1983, c. 6, § 54-386.2; 1988, c. 765; 1992, c. 146; 2004, c. 744.

Article 5. Certification for Administration of Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agents (TPAs).

§ 54.1-3222. TPA certification; certification for treatment of diseases or abnormal conditions with therapeutic pharmaceutical agents (TPAs).

A. The Board shall certify an optometrist to prescribe for and treat diseases or abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa with therapeutic pharmaceutical agents (TPAs), if the optometrist files a written application, accompanied by the fee required by the Board and satisfactory proof that the applicant:

1. Is licensed by the Board as an optometrist and certified to administer diagnostic pharmaceutical agents pursuant to Article 4 (§ 54.1-3220 et seq.);

2. Has satisfactorily completed such didactic and clinical training programs for the treatment of diseases and abnormal conditions of the eye and its adnexa as are determined, after consultation with a school or college of optometry and a school of medicine, to be reasonable and necessary by the Board to ensure an appropriate standard of medical care for patients; and

3. Passes such examinations as are determined to be reasonable and necessary by the Board to ensure an appropriate standard of medical care for patients.

B. TPA certification shall enable an optometrist to prescribe and administer, within his scope of practice, Schedule II controlled substances consisting of hydrocodone in combination with acetaminophen and Schedules III through VI controlled substances and devices as set forth in the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) to treat diseases and abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa as determined by the Board, within the following conditions:

1. Treatment with oral therapeutic pharmaceutical agents shall be limited to (i) analgesics included on Schedule II controlled substances as defined in § 54.1-3448 of the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) consisting of hydrocodone in combination with acetaminophen, and analgesics included on Schedules III through VI, as defined in §§ 54.1-3450 and 54.1-3455 of the Drug Control Act, which are appropriate to alleviate ocular pain and (ii) other Schedule VI controlled substances as defined in § 54.1-3455 of the Drug Control Act appropriate to treat diseases and abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa.

2. Therapeutic pharmaceutical agents shall include topically applied Schedule VI drugs as defined in § 54.1-3455 of the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.).

3. Administration of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents by injection shall be limited to the treatment of chalazia by means of injection of a steroid included in Schedule VI controlled substances as set forth in § 54.1-3455 of the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.). A TPA-certified optometrist shall provide written evidence to the Board that he has completed a didactic and clinical training course provided by an accredited school or college of optometry that includes training in administration of TPAs by injection prior to administering TPAs by injection pursuant to this subdivision.

4. Treatment of angle closure glaucoma shall be limited to initiation of immediate emergency care.

5. Treatment of infantile or congenital glaucoma shall be prohibited.

6. Treatment through surgery or other invasive modalities shall not be permitted, except as provided in subdivision 3 or for treatment of emergency cases of anaphylactic shock with intramuscular epinephrine.

7. Entities permitted or licensed by the Board of Pharmacy to distribute or dispense drugs, including, but not limited to, wholesale distributors and pharmacists, shall be authorized to supply TPA-certified optometrists with those therapeutic pharmaceutical agents specified by the Board on the TPA-Formulary.

1996, cc. 152, 158; 2004, c. 744; 2015, c. 355; 2018, c. 280.

§ 54.1-3223. Regulations relating to instruction and training, examination, and therapeutic pharmaceutical agents.

A. The Board shall promulgate such regulations governing the treatment of diseases and abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa with therapeutic pharmaceutical agents by TPA-certified optometrists as are reasonable and necessary to ensure an appropriate standard of medical care for patients, including, but not limited to, determinations of the diseases and abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa that may be treated by TPA-certified optometrists, treatment guidelines, and the drugs specified on the TPA-Formulary.

In establishing standards of instruction and training, the Board shall consult with a school or college of optometry and a school or college of medicine and shall set a minimum number of hours of clinical training to be supervised by an ophthalmologist. The didactic and clinical training programs may include, but need not be limited to, programs offered or designed either by schools of medicine or schools or colleges of optometry or both or some combination thereof.

The Board may prepare, administer, and grade appropriate examinations for the certification of optometrists to administer therapeutic pharmaceutical agents or may contract with a school of medicine, school or college of optometry, or other institution or entity to develop, administer, and grade the examinations.

In order to maintain a current and appropriate list of therapeutic pharmaceuticals on the TPA-Formulary, current and appropriate treatment guidelines, and current and appropriate determinations of diseases and abnormal conditions of the eye and its adnexa that may be treated by TPA-certified optometrists, the Board may, from time to time, amend such regulations. Such regulations shall be exempt from the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), except to any extent that they may be specifically made subject to §§ 2.2-4024, 2.2-4030, and 2.2-4031; the Board's regulations shall, however, comply with § 2.2-4103 of the Virginia Register Act (§ 2.2-4100 et seq.). The Board shall, however, conduct a public hearing prior to making amendments to the TPA-Formulary, the treatment guidelines or the determinations of diseases and abnormal conditions of the eye and its adnexa that may be treated by TPA-certified optometrists. Thirty days prior to conducting such hearing, the Board shall give written notice by mail of the date, time, and place of the hearing to all currently TPA-certified optometrists and any other persons requesting to be notified of the hearings and publish notice of its intention to amend the list in the Virginia Register of Regulations. During the public hearing, interested parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to be heard and present information prior to final adoption of any TPA-Formulary amendments. Proposed and final amendments of the list shall also be published, pursuant to § 2.2-4031, in the Virginia Register of Regulations. Final amendments to the TPA-Formulary shall become effective upon filing with the Registrar of Regulations. The TPA-Formulary shall be the inclusive list of the therapeutic pharmaceutical agents that a TPA-certified optometrist may prescribe.

B. To assist in the specification of the TPA-Formulary, there shall be a seven-member TPA-Formulary Committee, as follows: three Virginia TPA-certified optometrists to be appointed by the Board of Optometry, one pharmacist appointed by the Board of Pharmacy from among its licensees, two ophthalmologists appointed by the Board of Medicine from among its licensees, and the chairman who shall be appointed by the Board of Optometry from among its members. The ophthalmologists appointed by the Board of Medicine shall have demonstrated, through professional experience, knowledge of the optometric profession. In the event the Board of Pharmacy or the Board of Medicine fails to make appointments to the TPA-Formulary Committee within 30 days following the Board of Optometry's requesting such appointments, or within 30 days following any subsequent vacancy, the Board of Optometry shall appoint such members.

The TPA-Formulary Committee shall recommend to the Board those therapeutic pharmaceutical agents to be included on the TPA-Formulary for the treatment of diseases and abnormal conditions of the eye and its adnexa by TPA-certified optometrists.

1996, cc. 152, 158; 2004, c. 744.

§ 54.1-3224. Denial, etc., of TPA certification; disciplinary actions; summary suspension under certain circumstances.

A. The Board of Optometry may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, or suspend any TPA-certificate issued to a TPA-certified optometrist, or applied for by a licensed optometrist in accordance with the provisions of this article, or may discipline or reprimand any certificate holder for violations of this chapter or the Board's regulations.

B. The Board may take action summarily to suspend a TPA-certified optometrist's certification under this section by means of a telephone conference call if, in the opinion of a majority of the Board, (i) a good faith effort to convene a regular meeting of the Board has failed and (ii) there is an imminent danger to the public health or safety which warrants this action.

1996, cc. 152, 158.