Optometry Board of Australia - Update to scheduled medicines guidelines to include new medicine - advance copy available
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Update to scheduled medicines guidelines to include new medicine - advance copy available

11 Nov 2021

The Optometry Board of Australia (the Board) has updated its Guidelines for use of scheduled medicines to include a new topical schedule 4 medicine, Lifitegrast.

The dry eye medicine has been added to the approved list of medicines in Appendix B of the guidelines, when it becomes available on the market. The update will come into effect next month, on 10 December 2021. 

While the Board considers endorsed optometrists as qualified to prescribe topical Lifitegrast for the purposes of the practice of optometry, the authorisation to prescribe remains subject to state and territory drugs and poisons legislation.

Lifitegrast is subject to additional monitoring through the Therapeutic Goods of Australia’s (TGA) Black Triangle Scheme. All endorsed optometrists must be familiar with the medicines on the Black Triangle Scheme on the Board’s list and report any adverse events to help the TGA in safeguarding public health.

Under the Board’s Code of Conduct, optometrists continue to have a responsibility to recognise and work within the limits of their competence and know when to refer to another practitioner.

As part of the Board’s extensive consultation ahead of the update, the Board’s Patient and Consumer Health and Safety Impact Assessment considered the potential impact of the change on the health and safety of the public, vulnerable members of the community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. You can read that here

The proposal to update the guidelines was supported by the majority of the Board’s stakeholders including  key professional bodies, safety and community groups and government health departments.

An advance copy of the guidelines is available here including the revised Board-approved scheduled medicines list.

For more information

  • For online enquiries visit www.ahpra.gov.au/enquiry.
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 9285 3010 (overseas callers).
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200.
Page reviewed 11/11/2021