TRENDS & NEWS YOU CAN USE
A THREE-YEAR WAIT
FOR PRESCRIPTION PRIVILEGES
Jersey Oral TPA Licensure Requirements Finalized
Jennifer Kirby, senior associate editor
three years after the New Jersey legislature passed a bill allowing optometrists
to prescribe oral therapeutic pharmaceutical agents (OTPA) and the regulation was
formally adopted, the New Jersey Board of Optometrists (NJSBO) has finalized the
oral TPA licensure requirements.
What are these requirements? If you
graduated from a college of optometry before August 5, 2005, you must take 30 hours
of coursework in ocular pharmacology administered by a school accredited by the
United States Department of Education and the Council on Postsecondary ac-creditation
and approved by the NJSBO. (Those who graduated on or after August 5, 2005 are grandfathered
into this requirement, as the established necessary coursework explained
below is a prerequisite for graduation.) The New Jersey Society of Optometric
Physicians (NJSOP) has contracted with the Pen- nsylvania College of Optometry and
the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry to administer the coursework.
The TPA curriculum
The 30 hours of coursework must be
distributed amongst the following nine courses:
General pharmacology of appropriate
� Pharmacokinetics (including drug absorption, distribution, metabolism
Special populations, such
as geriatrics and pediatrics
Prescription writing and appropriate
Appropriate ethical uses of
Safety issues (adverse drug
reactions and interactions, recognition of systemic side effects, awareness of medication
errors, inappropriate use of medical abbreviations, proper notification of FDA MedWatch
and prevention of errors)
Addiction recognition of pa-tient,
self and impaired practitioner
Once an optometric physician has
completed this educational component and passes a written examination, he'll be
credentialed to pre- scribe oral agents for the treatment of ocular conditions.
Successful applicants can then also apply for a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) number.
The state of N.J. OTPA
There is no deadline for O.D.s to
gain their TPA licensure in New Jersey. The only requirement: New Jersey O.D.s who sit for the course-
work must have a valid topical TPA license. (The state still has a small pool of
diagnostic-only O.D.s, and they are not eligible to become certified in oral TPAs.)
In addition, from this point on, all new licensees in New Jersey must be licensed
at the highest level, meaning they must be oral
The first round of courses is being
offered this winter. The cost to NJSOP members is $1,325, and the cost to non-members
is $1,987. There is a slightly lower rate for 2005 graduates. More information can
be found at www.njsop.org.
The benefits of licensure
Michael Veliky, O.D., current president
of the NJSOP, says the certification offers three benefits:
"It [the orals certification] allows
New Jersey optometrists to better care for their patients who require oral TPAs,
as they no longer have to refer these patients to their general practitioner or
an ophthalmologist to receive the prescription their medical condition requires,"
he says. "It also emphasizes once again that optometry is not just a spectacles-dispensing
profession; we're an integral part of the medical team, and we have been all along."
The third benefit: "Currently, optometric
patients often have a difficult time filling a topically prescribed medication because
the pharmacy, per the insurance carriers, asks for a DEA number. It's not required
by law; rather, it's an inappropriate use of the DEA number by the insurance industry
to track prescribing doctors and prescriptions," Dr. Veliky ex-plains. "As New Jersey
optom- etrists currently don't have DEA numbers, the patient ends up with difficulty
filling a legally prescribed medication. On some level, orals certification and
DEA numbers will end this battle between optometric physicians and insurance companies
and pharmacies." For more information on this certification, visit
CIBA Recalls Select Lots of O2Optix
month, CIBA Vision issued a voluntary recall of selected lots of O2Optix
(lotrafilcon B) soft contact lenses after the company found some lenses in those
lots may fall below the standard for ion permeability. CIBA discovered the ion permeability
issue as a routine part of the company's quality control process. "With soft or
HEMA lenses, ion permeability is not a concern because salts readily pass through
the lens," said Rick Weisbarth, O.D., vice president, professional services CIBA
Vision. "This is not the case with sili- cone hydrogels, where ion permeability
is an important material characteristic, which contributes to lens movement on the
The affected lenses were distrib-uted
between Sept. 2006 and Dec. 2006 and include all lot numbers starting with 6644001
through 6721262 with expiration dates starting from 2011/09 through 2011/11, as
well as lot numbers 6626127, 6636101, 6637017, 6637019, 6637103, 6640120, 6640124,
6642109, 6642119 and 6643080, all with the expiration date of 2011/08.
The company says external experts confirmed that the probability of a serious adverse event associated
with these lenses is remote. The recalled lenses may cause persistent discomfort,
foreign body irritation and superficial corneal staining, usually within the first
one to four hours of wear.
As with any staining, the risk of
corneal infection is somewhat in-creased, although the probability is remote. Signs
and symptoms generally resolve quickly (within two to 24 hours) upon removal of
CIBA Vision notes that no serious
adverse events related to this issue have been reported globally. "Not all of the
lenses are affected, but to facilitate a smooth recall, CIBA
is recalling all
lots produced within the Sept. to Dec. time frame," said Dr. Weisbarth. Only seven,
non-serious complaints that are likely related to the use of O2Optix
lenses with reduced ion permeability have been reported to the company.
Effected lenses should be sent back
to the company along with the "Recall tracking form." If you have not received this
form, contact CIBA Vision Customer Service at (800) 241-5999. The company says it
has already implemented manufacturing process improvements and addressed the ion
permeability issue. However, product availability will continue to be affected.
In the United States supply constraints and backorders into the second quarter are
expected, with increasing improvements through mid year.
The American Academy of Optometry
inducted Richard E. Weisbarth, OD, FAAO, as President. Joe Yager, OD, 2005 and 2006
president, will continue on the Academy board of directors as past president. Mark
Eger, OD, was voted president-elect and Karla Zadnik, OD, was elected Secretary-Treasurer.
Elected board members were Drs. Brett G. Bence, Bernard J. Dolan, Barbara Caffery
and Joseph P. Shovlin.
The National Optometry Hall
of Fame selection committee invites nominations for this year's induction ceremony,
which is scheduled for October at the EastWest Eye Conference at the Cleveland Convention
Center. Mail letters of nomination and all other
documentation to: National Optometry Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 6036, Worthington,
Ohio 43085, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for Hall of Fame nominations
is March 9.
Bausch & Lomb announced
that Gary M. Phillips, M.D., corporate vice president-global pharmaceuticals, will
head the company's U.S. pharmaceuticals and surgical business as part of a realignment
of B&L's Americas region. Angela J. Panzarella, corporate vice president-global
vision care, will head commercial operations in Canada and Latin America. Paul G. Howes, current
president of the Americas region, will resign.
Optos, an imaging devices
company, appointed Thomas W. Butts as Chief Executive Officer and a member of their
Board of Directors.
New Alcon Site Includes Information
Alcon has launched the Web
site, alcon.com, for physicians, patients caregivers and media. The section
alcon.com/professionals includes sections on product advances, medical education,
FAQs, U.S. sample requests and interactive features.
Alimera Sciences announced
approval of its ophthalmic solution Rx-to-OTC-switch new drug application (NDA)
for Alaway (ketotifen fumarate ophthalmic solution 0.025%). The multiple action
eye anti-allergic drug is Alimera's first NDA submission and its first to win approval.
Carl Zeiss Meditec, reported it has received FDA clearance to market the laser keratome
applications of its VISUMAX femtosecond laser system. A commercial launch of the
femtosecond technology is planned for mid 2007.
Accutome, Inc. has announced
it has become an official distributor of Volk Lenses, makers of aspheric optics.
Accutome will carry the full line of Volk lenses.
Why do your patients drop
out of contact lenses? Tell us at opto metricmanagement.com.
Advanced Medical Optics has acquired Wavefront Sciences,
a provider of wavefront diagnostics systems for refractive surgery and medical research.
AMO also announced an agreement to acquire IntraLase for $808 million.
it has signed a graphics licensing agreement with the American Optometric Association
(AOA). The agreement will provide Eyemagination's eyecare images and animations
for the AOA's various educational and marketing materials through print and electronic
Paragon Vision Sciences announced
the launch of Paragon Z CRT in the United States. With the addition of the Menicon
Z material to the Paragon CRT product line, practitioners now have access to two
high Dk GP materials that are FDA approved for an overnight corneal reshaping
Fund Supports Sight for Life
Optical introduced the Transitions Healthy Sight for Life Fund, which will encourage
people to take steps to help enhance and protect their vision today and for a lifetime.
The Fund will feature a stand-alone
consumer-targeted Web site (healthysightforlife.org), video and brochure to address
the importance of healthy sight at every stage in life and provide information on
the steps people should take to protect and optimize their vision. The Web site,
video and brochure will be available in English, Spanish and French.
A toolkit with educational materials
and marketing tools will also available in 2007 to help charity and trade professionals
reach out to consumers within their local communities.
As a grant-making entity, the Fund
will offer financial support for qualified charities and optical professionals.
Details on eligibility and the grant submission process will be released later in
Biography is Released
The biography of
Dr. Irvin Borish, written by Dr. Bill Baldwin, has been recently released. According
to Jack Runninger, O.D., consulting editor for Optometric Management, the biography
"is the story of a remarkable man who combines genius, common sense, professional
devotion, impressive work ethic and unbounded energy, even now at the age of 94.
the most significant contributor to the growth and education of optometry over the
past 75 years, he has earned the title "Optometry's Architect."'
son of impoverished immigrants, Dr. Borish became an intellectual giant, although
he was too poor to afford high school or college textbooks. "In the telling of the
fascinating story of this extraordinary man, we also see an absorbing history of
optometry over the past 75 years," says Dr. Runninger.
obtain ordering information, call (812) 855-4447, or visit www.opt.indiana.edu.
All proceeds from the book go to optometric education.
Optometric Management, Issue: February 2007