Catalogue Number: 1435
Use of therapeutic drugs
Sub-Category: Minutes, meeting papers
Institution: Victorian College of Optometry
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1988 to 1994
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Publisher/Manufacturer: Victorian College of Optometry
Description Of Item: Yellow foolscap size manilla folder with spring binders containing the minutes of the therapeutic drugs committee of the College, its reports to the College Council and related papers.
Historical Significance: This file is the record of a VCO committee on use of therapeutic drugs by optometrists. It first met in February 1988 and wound up in March 1994. The College had made several submission to government but in 1994 it was agreed that the AOA(Vic Div) should take the front running. The first optometrists exercised the right to use therapeutic drugs in 2000. (see also Cat No 452 and 1371 for records of other activity of the College in pursuing this issue). Originally optometrists did not use drugs of any kind. The Opticians Registration Act 1935 prohibited optometrists from using drugs. Optometrists did not dilate the pupil or do tonometry until the 1960s, although a few optometrists, notably Alan Isaacs and David Cockburn, defied the law in their own practices and obtained and used topical anaethesics for tonometry and mydriatics for ophthalmoscopy in the 1950s and John Strachan used anaesthetics for fitting haptic lenses. The Council of the College considered the issue in 1962 and 1963 (Cat No 541). The College taught tonometry and dilated pupil ophthalmoscopy to its students in the 1960s and ran CE courses on use of diagnostic drugs in 1977 and 1978. The College with the AOAVic Div were successful in obtaining the removal of the prohibition on use of drugs from the Optometrists Act in 1982 and legislative changes to give optometrists legal access to topical anaesthetics, mydriatics and miotics (see VCO CE Newsletter No 8 Sept 1982).
How Acquired: Record of VCO
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 3