As of April 1, 2009 those registrants certified to treat the common eye diseases that routinely present in an optometric practice have the authority to write for prescription pharmaceuticals. These diseases include eye infections, inflammations, allergies and other such ailments.  As of August 1, 2012 these diseases also include the glaucomas.  If an eye condition is beyond a registrant’s scope of practice or registration, then the patient would be referred to an eye surgeon for advanced medical care.

The pharmaceutical scope of practice for Registrants in BC includes:

  • Mydriatics
  • Cycloplegics
  • Miotics
  • Anti-Allergy medications (topical)
  • NSAIDs (topical)
  • Corticosteroids (topical)
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-viral medications (topical)
  • Anti-glaucoma medications
  • Anaesthetics
  • Corneal and adnexa foreign body removal
  • Lacrimal system dilation and irrigation

Oversight for pharmaceutical prescribing is managed by the Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee which is composed of:

  • four registrants
  • one physician approved by the College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • one pharmacist approved by the College of Pharmacists
  • one member appointed by the Ministry of Health

This committee also establishes the Standards, Limits and Conditions imposed on optometrists in BC for the safe application of this part of practice.

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