I went home contemplating this week’s Friday Factoid. Time was pressed and I had no idea what to address. So I turned on my television and tuned in to the local channel 6 news. There it was, a short news story featuring a State of Illinois proposal that would in essence approve psychologists to exercise prescription privileges.
Immediately, I said, “Wow, that’s interesting.” I did a search for the local channel 6 website and located the article entitled, “Panel OKs bill to let psychologists prescribe.” According to the Springfield, Illinois (AP), “The proposal was signed off by an Illinois legislative panel recently on a 9-5 vote.” At this time things are looking bright as the proposal heads further along in the full approval process. If this peaks your interest (and I’m sure it has), then take a look at the Illinois website. Once there, look on the left panel and put in the number SB2187 to read a summary of the bill.
The debate over prescription privileges has caused differences of opinion among psychologists and other professionals. The local news article (2014 May 8), mentioned that a proponent of the bill, Rep John Bradley, says, “Letting psychologists prescribe drugs would help ease a doctor shortage.” However, opponents from the Illinois State Medical Society say, “Psychologists do not have enough medical training to safely dispense medication.” You can take a look at the fact sheet that was sponsored by the Illinois Psychiatric Society for a more complete summary of their opposition.
In closing, in her article, Physicians Fight to keep Psychologists from Prescribing, Melville (2013) expands on this very exciting debate. More interesting was the fact that she indicated that during the mid 1990s, out of 170 proposals from various states, only three states granted prescription privileges, namely, “New Mexico, Louisiana and Guam.”
Have you considered your position in this ongoing debate?
Illinois Psychiatric Society Do you want your medication prescribed by someone who took an online psychopharmacology course? http://www.illinoispsychiatricsociety.org/advocacy/Documents/IPS%20FinalFactSheet%20April%209.pdf
Melville , N.A. (2013). Physicians Fight to Keep Psychologists From Prescribing. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/781519
WPSD Local 6 News, (2014 May 8). Panel OKs bill to let psychologists prescribe. [Television Broadcast]. Retrieved from http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/story/25465795/panel-oks-bill-to-let-psychologists-prescribe.
David J. Wright, MA., MSW
WKPIC Doctoral Intern