OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS
In this chapter:
I. "Board" means the board of registration in optometry.
II. "Dispensing pharmaceutical agents" means that a licensed optometrist authorized to use pharmaceutical agents may dispense a pharmaceutical agent to a patient if no charge is imposed for the pharmaceutical agent and the amount dispensed does not exceed a 24-hour supply, except that if the minimum available quantity for dispensing is greater than a 24-hour supply, the optometrist may dispense the minimum available quantity. Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit a licensed optometrist authorized to use pharmaceutical agents pursuant to RSA 327:6-a from dispensing therapeutic contact lenses for a fee.
III. "Pharmaceutical agent" means the following pharmaceutical products:
(a) Non-legend, over the counter, agents.
(b) Mydriatic and cycloplegic agents which are topically applied.
(c) Miotic agents approved pursuant to RSA 327:6-a, VI.
(d) Antibiotics, sulfonomides, and combinations thereof, which are topically applied or orally administered to treat or alleviate the effects of disease or abnormal conditions of the human eye, adnexa, and eyelids, excluding the lacrimal gland, or structures posterior to the iris, approved pursuant to RSA 327:6-a, VI.
(e) Anti-allergy medications, including but not limited to antihistamines, decongestants, and mast-cell stabilizers which are topically applied.
(f) Anesthetics and dyes which are topically applied.
(g) Ocular lubricants and hypertonic agents which are topically applied.
(h) Orally administered analgesic agents used for the purpose of alleviating pain caused by a disease or abnormal condition of the human eye or eyelid, excluding the lacrimal gland, or structures posterior to the iris. This may include class III and IV controlled substances approved pursuant to RSA 327:6-a, VI and included in the formulary.
(i) Other pharmaceutical agents, any solely diagnostic agents, and diagnostic agents combined with pharmaceutical agents as defined in this paragraph and as approved pursuant to RSA 327:6-a, VI.
(j) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents approved pursuant to RSA 327:6-a, VI.
(k) Anti-glaucoma agents provided that an optometrist may dispense or prescribe such agents if the optometrist has met the requirements of RSA 327:6-c.
(l) Corticosteroids which are topically applied, as approved by the board.
(m) Antivirals which are approved pursuant to RSA 327:6-a, VI.
(n) Corticosteroids or antivirals, provided that optometrists with patients on corticosteroids or antivirals who demonstrate no improvement in 10 days shall be referred to an ophthalmologist.
IV. "Practice of optometry" means the employment of any methods or means, other than surgery, for the:
(a) Diagnosis and treatment of any optical defect, deficiency, deformity, or disease of the human eye, adnexa and eyelids.
(b) Diagnosis and treatment of any visual or muscular anomaly of the visual system.
(c) Adaptation or prescribing of spectacle lenses, contact lenses, prisms or ocular exercises for the correction, relief or aid of the visual functions.
(d) Prescribing, administering or dispensing of pharmaceutical agents.
(e) Application, prescribing, or removal of Food and Drug Administration approved medical devices, as approved by the board and consistent with the practice of optometry as set forth in this chapter, including, but not limited to, contact lenses, plano lenses, and punctal plugs. The term "plano lenses" means contact lenses with no refractive power.
(f) Diagnosis of acute angle closure glaucoma. Upon such diagnosis, an optometrist may administer emergency care and shall immediately refer the patient to an ophthalmologist. Oral pharmaceutical agents may be used for the emergency treatment of acute angle closure glaucoma.
V. "Prescription of pharmaceutical agents" means a written or oral direction to dispense a pharmaceutical agent, including inscription, subscription, transcription, and renewal.
VI. "Surgery" means any procedure in which human tissue is cut, altered, or otherwise infiltrated by mechanical means. Surgical procedures shall include the use of lasers for therapeutic and photorefractive purposes, ionizing radiation, therapeutic ultrasound, or medication administered by injection, provided that the removal of superficial foreign bodies from the eye, adnexa or eyelid shall not be considered a surgical procedure prohibited by this chapter. With respect to a foreign body, any part of which is situated within 3 millimeters of the visual axis, "superficial foreign body" means that which has not penetrated deeper than the corneal epithelium.
VI-a. "Telemedicine" means the use of audio, video, or other electronic media for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation, or treatment.
VII. "Therapeutic contact lenses" means contact lenses which contain one or more medications and which deliver such medication to the eye.
Source. 1911, 167:3. PL 207:1. RL 253:1. 1951, 72:1. RSA 327:1. 1985, 245:1. 1993, 333:8. 2002, 274:1. 2006, 182:1. 2010, 37:2, 3. 2011, 121:1. 2016, 83:1, eff. July 18, 2016. 2019, 199:1, eff. Sept. 8, 2019. 2020, 27:20, eff. July 21, 2020.