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State Board of Optometry 

The State Board of Optometry is responsible for regulating the practice and licensure of optometry in Pennsylvania. The Board grants initial licensure to qualified optometrists and certifies eligible licensees in the use of certain therapeutic drugs. The Board also investigates complaints against practitioners and is responsible for imposing disciplinary sanctions against those who violate the Optometric Practice and Licensure Act (Act 57 of 1980). The Board has further promulgated regulations concerning professional and business practice standards, continuing education and licensure requirements.
 
  
OPIOID EDUCATION FOR OPTOMETRISTS CERTIFIED TO PRESCRIBE AND ADMINISTER
PHARMACEUTICAL AGENTS AND RENEWALS SUBMITTED AFTER JULY 1, 2017
 
Section 9.1(a) of ABC-MAP* requires that all prescribers or dispensers, as defined in Section 3 of ABC-MAP, applying for licensure/certification complete at least 4 hours of Board-approved education consisting of 2 hours in pain management or the identification of addiction and 2 hours in the practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids. Optometrists with certifications to prescribe and administer pharmaceutical agents for therapeutic purposes and for the treatment of certain types of glaucoma (license prefix OEG) or a certification to prescribe and administer pharmaceutical agents for therapeutic purposes (license prefix OET) fall within ABC-MAP’s definition of prescribers or dispensers.
 
Requirements for initial applicants and applicants for certification to prescribe and administer pharmaceutical agents for therapeutic purposes
 
Optometrist applicants seeking initial OEG or OET licensure certifications on or after July 1, 2017, must document, within one year from issuance of the OEG or OET, that they completed the 4 hours of education as part of: the applicant’s optometric doctoral educational program; a Board-approved 100-hour course in the prescription and administration of pharmaceutical agents for therapeutic purposes authorized by Section 23.202(b) of the Board’s regulations; or continuing education from an optometry continuing education provider listed in Section 23.86(a) of the Board’s regulations. The 4 hours of Board-approved education needs to be completed only once.
 
Where the 4 hours of education is part of the optometric educational program, verification of completion from the program may be included within the Verification of Graduation. Where the education is completed as a part of a Board-approved 100-hour course in the prescription and administration of pharmaceutical agents for therapeutic purposes authorized by Section 23.202(b) of the Board’s regulations, verification of completion from the program may be included within the Verification of Completion of 100 Hour Course in Prescription and Administration of Pharmaceutical Agents for Therapeutic Purposes. Where the education is completed as stand-alone opioid education, verification of completion from an optometry continuing education provider listed in Section 23.86(a) of the Board’s regulations may be documented on the Verification of Opioid Education or on a Certificate of Completion that includes the name of the course, the specific number of hours in each of the required content areas and the date completed. The verification forms will be available on the Board’s website at http://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/Optometry
 
Renewals
 
In order for optometrists with OEG or OET license classifications to renew their licenses for the next renewal period, Section 9.1(a)(2) of ABC-MAP requires that they complete at least two hours of continuing education in pain management, the identification of addiction or the practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids. The continuing education requirements of ABC-MAP will count towards the total number of continuing education credits required for renewal; however, they may not be applied toward the 6 hours required to maintain therapeutic certification. This continuing education must be taken from a Board-approved optometry continuing education provider listed in Section 23.86(a) of the Board’s regulations and its completion attested to when applying for renewal.
 
*The Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program Act (ABC-MAP)(also known as Act 124 of 2016), 35 P.S. § 872.3, is available on the Legislature’s website at:
 
The Optometric Practice and Licensure Act and the Board’s regulations are available on the Board’s website at: http://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/Optometry