Missouri bill grants psychologists authority to order prescriptions

January 11, 2008

Missouri is considering legislation that will let trained psychologists prescribe medications.

Should psychologists be able to prescribe medications? New Mexico and Louisiana have passed laws to grant psychologists this authority and now Missouri has introduced similar legislation. Missouri's proposal calls for licensed psychologists to complete a post-doctorate master's degree and pass a national qualifying exam in psychopharmacology, complete a one-year fellowship, fulfill an additional one-year collaborative practice with a physician, and then maintain an ongoing referral agreement with a physician. According to Becky Culbertson, president of the Missouri Pharmacy Association, pharmacists in the state have not chosen to take a position on the bill. However, she has heard that the state medical association has some concerns about letting psychologists assume this authority. She added that doctors don't have to enter into a collaborative practice with a psychologist if they don't want to.

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