Allow Optometrists in Puerto Rico to prescribe therapeutic pharmaceutical agents!
  • Petitioning President of the United States

This petition will be delivered to:

President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives
Puerto Rico-000J
State Sen. Eduardo Bhatia
Puerto Rico
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla
Puerto Rico-01
Rep. Pedro Pierluisi
Puerto Rico-000C
State Sen. Maria de Lourdes Santiago Negron
Puerto Rico-000F
State Sen. Rossana Lopez Leon
Arkansas
Sen. John Boozman
Puerto Rico-004A
State Sen. Maria Gonzalez Lopez
Puerto Rico-005A
State Sen. Ramon Ruiz Nieves
Puerto Rico-006A
State Sen. Miguel Pereira Castillo
Puerto Rico-008A
State Sen. Pedro Rodriguez Gonzalez
Tennessee
Sen. Lamar Alexander
Iowa
Sen. Tom Harkin
Arizona
Sen. John McCain

Allow Optometrists in Puerto Rico to prescribe therapeutic pharmaceutical agents!

    1. Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
    2. Petition by

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.

      Bayamon, PR

The U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is the last and only jurisdiction of the United States of America where licensed Doctors of Optometry are not allowed to use therapeutic pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of ocular health conditions in their patients. Optometrists in Puerto Rico are educated with the same rigorous U.S. accredited didactic and clinical training as all the optometrists in the United States, and are required to complete and successfully pass all parts of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry examinations to be allowed to practice in the Island. The National Board is a requirement for a license to practice as an optometrist in all the 50 United States.

Doctors of Optometry trained in Puerto Rico are successfully engaged in practices with full therapeutic privileges at this moment in many states, as commissioned officers in the U.S. Armed Forces Medical Services, as well as the Veterans Administration, The U.S. Public Health Service and other federal and state medical departments. Organized optometry in Puerto Rico has unsuccessfully presented legislation in the past, leaving the more than 4 million citizens of the Island with only about 100 ophthalmologists to care for their ocular health. This situation is not acceptable under the most basic standard of care that the rest of the citizens of the United States enjoy in their particular jurisdictions by certified Doctors of Optometry. As a matter of fact many practicing optometrists in Puerto Rico hold also therapeutic licenses in states, to maintain and uphold their proficiency and clinical expertise’s at par with the regular practice of the profession in the United States.

The government of Puerto Rico, by not allowing this legislation to be successful, is systematically discriminating against their own citizens and purposely allowing a substandard of care.

 

Addendum (9/17/11):

It is with deep anger and embarrassment that we were informed that the U.S. Army would no longer be accepting Doctors of Optometry with licenses that will not allow the practitioners to prescribe therapeutic pharmaceutical agents. The U.S. Army was very clear in stating that: “We do not accept any providers who do not meet the necessary criteria for practicing at the highest level of our profession. It does not matter what license you hold.  If you are not licensed to practice therapeutics, your credentialing in our Military Treatment Facilities is extremely limited and you are not able to perform your duties at the level necessary to carry out the mission in a combat zone or other deployments.” Its is expected that the Navy, Air Force and the rest of the federal medical services will go along with the Army soon.

Again, the government of Puerto Rico, by not allowing Optometrists in Puerto Rico to prescribe, is systematically discriminating against their own citizens and purposely allowing a substandard of care. This is an injustice and discrimination toward the 4.5 million residents of this U.S. Commonwealth, and now to the Doctors of Optometry licensed in Puerto Rico that are now not allowed to serve as officers and healthcare providers in the U.S. Armed Forces.

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Green light from the Puerto Rico Senate: Optometrists can prescribe.

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer
      Luz verde del Senado para que los optómetras puedan recetar

      Aprueban a viva voz el proyecto Por Antonio R. Gómez / antonio.gomez@gfrmedia.com Con votación tripartita de 17-7 el Senado de Puerto Rico aprobó este miércoles el debatido proyecto de ley que reconoce a los optómetras de la Isla la facultad para prescribir y administrar ciertos medicamentos.

    2. Positive report for the SB 991!!

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer
      Baja informe positivo de controversial proyecto

      (Redacción)- Al parecer los optómetras se apuntaran una a su favor, y es que el expresidente del Colegio de Optómetras, el doctor Carlos Rivera Alonso aseguró a Noti Uno que el controversial proyecto del senado 991, que busca que estos profesionales de la salud puedan recetar y realizar intervenciones, obtuvo un informe positivo por parte de la Comisión de Salud y Nutrición del Senado.

    3. Optómetras reciben apoyo bipartita para recetar fármacos

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer
      Optómetras reciben apoyo bipartita para recetar fármacos

      Por Daniel Rivera Vargas 10/13/2013 | 04:28 p.m. Legisladores de los dos partidos principales dijeron hoy que apoyarían enmiendas a la ley que le permita a los optómetras recetar medicinas, tema que revive una vieja controversia en el país.

    4. Reached 1,500 signatures
    5. Letter in the October '12 issue of Review of Optometry.

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer
      Review of Optometry® > Letters to the Editor

      From RO Readers 10/15/2012 'Enough is Enough' Thank you for the coverage Review of Optometry has done over the years of the Puerto Rico TPA issue. Osvaldo A. Negrón, O.D., and Rafael Toro Landron, O.D., are each relocating outside of Puerto Rico in order to practice with TPA privileges.

    6. U.S. Virgin Islands legislature approves expansion of optometric scope...

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer

      On July 18, 2012, U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh, Jr. (D) signed Act 7376 into law expanding the scope of practice for optometrists by authorizing the use of diagnostic drugs and the prescription of certain topical and oral drugs to diagnose and treat eye disease. http://newsfromaoa.org/2012/09/05/u-s-virgin-islands-legislature-approves-expansion-of-optometric-scope-of-practice/

      Puerto Rico, now truly the LAST jurisdiction of the U.S.A. where optometrists are not allowed to prescribe medications!

    7. Senate Bill 2634

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer

      The government of Puerto Rico, by itself, introduced this bill on May 14, 2012. Its is a petition for an amendment to the optometry practice law to allow licensed optometrists to prescribe therapeutical pharmaceutical agents. As expected, ophthalmologists are strongly and firmly opposing it.

    8. Reached 1,001 signatures
    9. Optometry students learning how to fight the good fight!!!

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer

      !!! I’m very grateful to my future colleagues for what they published today in the net!!!

    10. Link to newspaper letter (Spanish):

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer

      At last, we are getting some “free” publicity!

    11. Article about the issue in a national professional magazine:

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer

      Please click here to view the digital publication.

    12. Reached 500 signatures
    13. Can optometrists treat eye problems such as infections and injuries?

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer

      A therapeutic optometrist is a Doctor of Optometry that has passed specified national and/or state boards examinations to prescribe medications in treating diseases of the eyes and visual system.

    14. Commentary

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer

      "This is a plight for justice on behalf of the patients by optometrists who practice in the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico." Dr. Angel Romero

    15. Reached 250 signatures
    16. Help create more awareness of the issue.

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer

      Our professional RIGHT to treat our patients in Puerto Rico therapeutically is been SECUESTERED FOR RAMSOM at the Puerto Rican Legislature! Please sign the petition to help us stop this obvious DISCRIMINATION by the government of Puerto Rico!

    17. 150!

      Osvaldo Negrón, O.D.
      Petition Organizer

      The government of the United States, its citizens and the world must know that the same government of Puerto Rico that preaches equality and statehood, also unflinchingly rejects the same equality in ocular healthcare for their residents.

    18. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Dianalin Acevedo BAYAMóN
      • 4 months ago

      Puerto Rican Optometrist should be given the opportunity to practice their craft at their fullest potential

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kimberly Osborne NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX
      • 4 months ago

      I've been prescribing TPA's since 1999 with no adverse events.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Peter Rozanec MISSIS, CANADA
      • 4 months ago

      Puerto Rican patients should be given the same accessibility to eyecare as patients across the US and Canada. It is time Puerto Rican ODs are allowed to practice to the level of their skills and expertise!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Susan Brunnett,OD LITTLETON, CO
      • 5 months ago

      All optometrists who graduate from an accredited school of optometry and practice in the US or it's territory deserve the right to practice to their full abilities . Additionally, the people of Puerto Rico deserve the best and most accessible care possible. Optometrists and ophthalmologists can work together with top patient care as their first priority, just as is done in the US now.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Angel Rosado LAJAS
      • 5 months ago

      Todo en un mismo sitio

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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