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NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 39, ISSUE 11
ISSUE DATE: JUNE 4, 2007
RULE PROPOSALS
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
NEW JERSEY BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF OPHTHALMIC DISPENSERS AND OPHTHALMIC TECHNICIANS

39 N.J.R. 2197(a)

Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:33-5.1 and 7.1

Click here to view Interested Persons Statement

Record of Prescriptions Filled; Advertising

Authorized By: New Jersey Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians, Dorcas O'Neal, Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 52:17B-41.13.

Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.

Proposal Number: PRN 2007-168.

Submit written comments by August 3, 2007 to:

Dorcas O'Neal, Executive Director
State Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispenser and Ophthalmic Technicians
PO Box 45031
Newark, NJ 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

The State Board of Examiners of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians (the Board) proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:33-5.1 to require ophthalmic dispensers to release an original prescription maintained as part of his or her records to a patient upon request. An ophthalmic dispenser who releases an original prescription is required to maintain a copy of the prescription as part of his or her records. The Board has recently become aware of instances where licensed ophthalmic dispensers have refused to release prescriptions to patients. The Board is proposing amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:33-5.1 to clarify that licensed ophthalmic dispensers must provide patients with prescriptions if they are requested to do so.

The Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:33-7.1 to require that advertisements for ophthalmic dispensing services include the name and New Jersey license number of at least one licensed ophthalmic dispenser working at the business. The Board has seen many advertisements for ophthalmic services that did not indicate the identity of the licensed ophthalmic dispenser who will provide services. The Board believes that, in order to protect consumers, advertisements must identify the licensed ophthalmic dispenser so that consumers will know with whom they are dealing and the Board may easily identify a licensee in case a complaint is lodged with the Board. The Board has determined that the comment period for this proposal shall be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this proposal is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.

Social Impact

The Board believes the proposed amendments will have a positive impact on society. The amendments require licensed ophthalmic dispensers to provide patients with original prescriptions upon request. This will benefit patients as they will easily be able to obtain their prescriptions from licensees. The amendments also require that licensed ophthalmic dispensers identify themselves with their name and license number in advertisements. This will facilitate the identification of licensees for consumers and for the Board in case a complaint is lodged with the Board.

Economic Impact

The proposed amendments may have an economic impact on licensed ophthalmic dispensers. The amendments require licensed ophthalmic dispensers to release prescriptions to patients upon request without a charge. Licensed ophthalmic dispensers who release a prescription must make a copy and maintain the copy as part of his or her records. These requirements may impose a cost on licensed ophthalmic dispensers. The proposed amendments require licensed ophthalmic dispensers to identify themselves with their name and license number in advertisements. The cost of including this information in advertisements will be borne by licensees. The Board believes that these cost will be negligible. The Board does not believe that the amendments will impose any other costs on licensees or the public.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the proposed amendments.

Jobs Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will increase or decrease the number of jobs in New Jersey.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The proposed amendments will not have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

If, for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., ophthalmic dispensers and ophthalmic technicians are deemed "small businesses," then the following analysis applies. The costs imposed on small businesses are the same as those imposed on all businesses as set forth in the Economic Impact statement above. The Board does not believe that licensees will need to employ any professional services to comply with the proposed amendments. The proposed amendments do not impose any reporting requirements, but do impose recordkeeping and compliance requirements as set forth in the Summary above. As the proposed amendments will protect patients by ensuring that they may obtain their original prescriptions from licensed ophthalmic dispensers and that licensed ophthalmic dispensers will be accurately identified in advertisements, the Board believes that the proposed amendments must be applied uniformly to all licensed ophthalmic dispensers regardless of the size of the business.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not anticipate that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth and implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.

Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):

13:33-5.1 Record of prescriptions filled

(a) Each person licensed as an ophthalmic dispenser shall maintain for a period of at least six years at a New Jersey establishment the following records:

1. All original prescriptions, or copies of prescriptions, which the licensee or licensee's apprentices fill;

2.-5. (No change.)

(b)-(c) (No change.)

(d) If a patient requests that a licensed ophthalmic dispenser release an original prescription, the licensed ophthalmic dispenser shall release to the patient, without charge, the original prescription maintained as part of the licensed ophthalmic dispenser's records pursuant to (a) above. A licensed ophthalmic dispenser who releases an original prescription shall make a copy of the prescription and maintain this as part of his or her records.

13:33-7.1 Advertising

(a)-(f) (No change.)

(g) [Any advertisement shall include the telephone number and street address of the business.] All advertisements shall include, for at least one ophthalmic dispenser working at the business:

1. The ophthalmic dispenser's first name, or first initial of the first name, and full last name;

2. The ophthalmic dispenser's business address and telephone number; and

3. The terms "N.J. License #" followed by the ophthalmic dispenser's license number.



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