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Arizona bill allowing optometrists to prescribe draws flak

PHOENIX -- Some Arizona lawmakers and physicians are raising a red flag about a bill that would allow optometrists to prescribe some drugs that is set for a vote in the Senate.

Opponents of the bill called it dangerous at a Wednesday press briefing. Republican Rep. Heather Carter of Cave Creek and Sen. Kelli Ward of Lake Havasu City say the bill allowing the non-physicians who examine patients for eye problems and glasses was rammed through the Senate.

Senators approved House Bill 2380 on a 20-7 vote Wednesday. An earlier version failed in a House committee, but its language was added to an unrelated bill in the House by Republican Sen. Nancy Barto.

The bill now returns to the House where Carter was trying to gather enough votes to kill the bill.

Carter and Ward say they believe letting optometrists prescribe certain medications puts patients at risk because they don't have the training to properly monitor for adverse reactions. Ward is a physician.

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