Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski vetoed the psychologist prescribing bill in his state late today, suggesting that lawmakers didn’t vet the proposed changes to the law before voting for its passage. Oregon would have been the third state to grant prescription privileges to psychologists in the past decade.
“I have a serious concern as to whether the special session in February provided opportunity for citizens and interested stakeholders to be adequately involved in the development of those proposed major policy changes,” Gov. Kulongoski of Oregon wrote in his veto letters.
Medical groups and even some psychologists — including Dr. John Grohol of Psych Central — opposed the bill. Gov. Kulongoski said such a change “requires more safeguards, further study and greater public input.”
The veto of the psychologist prescribing bill in Oregon was one of three vetoes issued by the Governor. He suggested that each repudiated a change to “long-standing public policy” during an abbreviated, short special session of the Oregon legislature which didn’t allow for significant or rigorous debate on the issues.
Psych Central has spoken out against psychologists gaining prescription privileges as have other prominent professionals in the field, including the Editor-in-Chief of the Psychiatric Times, Dr. Ronald Pies. Some psychiatrists, including Dr. Danny Carlat, have spoken in favor of psychologists gaining prescription privileges, in order to help to help with the “critical shortage of psychiatric prescribers in the U.S.” In many parts of the U.S., consumers have to wait months in order to find a new appointment opening with a psychiatrist.
Psychologists who undergo an additional two-year training program already have prescription privileges in just two U.S. states — New Mexico and Louisiana. To date, there have been no reports of problems, abuse, or malpractice due to psychologists prescribing in these two states, but there also haven’t been any formal research studies examining the long-term effects of psychologists prescribing in either state.
Psychologists have been attempting to gain prescription privileges in dozens of states over the past decade, but have largely been unsuccessful due to successful lobbying of existing medical societies suggesting that allowing psychologist such privileges will result in decreased quality in patient care. Doctor groups, however, have had no research studies to back up their allegations.
Source: News wires