GOA: Injection law keeps pace with OD training
A new law in Georgia that allows optometrists to perform certain types of injections makes it possible for ODs to put their education into practice, according to a statement from the Georgia Optometric Association.
“As the training for doctors of optometry continues to increase to keep up with advancing technology, it is essential for state law to keep up as well,” Georgia Optometric Association (GOA) President Ben Casella, OD, said in the press release from the group. “This new law makes that possible. The process of treatment via injection has been taught, both didactically and clinically, in colleges of optometry for many years.”
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 153 into law on May 9. The legislation was approved in the Senate by a vote of 30-21 and in the House of Representatives by a vote of 121 to 36.
The GOA said it now joins more than 14 other states where optometrists are authorized to perform limited injections to areas near the eye.
“This measure being signed into law supports our position that Georgia’s doctors of optometry are highly skilled, well-trained and experienced medical professionals who are working to give their patients access to much-needed eye care services,” Casella said in the release.
“Doctors of optometry graduating today may select where to practice based on their authorization to use the training they received during their extensive years of study,” he continued. “We proposed this legislation because we wanted to ensure that Georgia remains pro-business and continues to attract the brightest and best in the profession of optometry.”
The law will allow for increased access to eye care involving injection and reduce patient waiting times, the GOA said.
The group also noted that every graduate of the Southern College of Optometry since 1995 has received injections training.
Medications delivered via injection into the lid, as in treatment for styes, warts and cysts, often have fewer side effects than oral medications, the GOA said in the release. In addition, researchers are working on developing microneedles to be used for treating glaucoma and corneal neovascularization.
“This technology would greatly improve the medical treatment of these diseases by providing a more accurate and successful delivery method to patients,” the GOA said.