American Academy of Optometry
American Optometric Association
Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry, Inc.
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
Southern Council of Optometrists
December 11, 2008 - To meet the rapidly changing needs of continuing education for practicing optometrists, five professional optometric organizations have initiated a steering committee to develop profession-wide guidelines for commercial support of continuing education.
The American Academy of Optometry (AAO), the American Optometric Association (AOA), the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO), the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) and the Southern Council of Optometrists (SECO) have issued a statement agreeing that they are "committed to ongoing excellence in optometric continuing education and ensuring high standards of accreditation. Therefore, we are dedicated to the development and adoption of guidelines for commercial support in optometric continuing education."The pharmaceutical and medical device organizations have developed voluntary guidelines to ensure ethical interactions with health care professionals. Rather than one optometric organization developing similar guidelines for the optometric profession, the presidents of the five organizations formed a steering committee to oversee the development of optometric guidelines. Steering committee members will include representatives from the organizations and members of the ophthalmic industry. "Full input from the profession," according to Dr. Christina Sorenson, President of ARBO, "will allow a collaborative effort that will benefit the profession greatly over the long term."