10 Dec 2021
Last month the Optometry Board of Australia (the Board) announced the upcoming changes giving practitioners access to an advance copy of the guidelines.
The updates were largely driven by the addition of 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.
Lifitegrast is subject to additional monitoring through the Therapeutic Goods of Australia’s 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.
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/territory drug and poisons legislation.
The new guidelines are available here and the revised Board-approved scheduled medicines list is here.