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Optometrists win round 1 in annual battle

Rep. Matt Caldwell, right, sponsored HB 239, which would give optometrists broader authority to prescribe drugs such as valium with codeine, vicodin and anabolic steroids. File photo by Ana Goni-Lessan.

Nearly 100 lobbyists, reporters and eye doctors crowded into a meeting of the House Health Quality Subcommittee on Thursday for the latest battle in what’s been called an eyeball war between optometrists and ophthalmologists. Optometrists have been trying for more than 30 years to get the authority to prescribe oral medications.

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