We are taking this opportunity to communicate directly to our members about an issue of critical importance. Organized psychology has indicated its intent to pursue prescribing authority for psychologists in New York State in the coming legislative session by introducing a bill that would permit psychologists, by securing a master’s degree in psychopharmacology, to prescribe a limited formulary of medications. Needless to say, NYSPA will marshal all its resources to defeat any attempt to permit psychologists to prescribe medication.
As a result of NYSPA and MSSNY efforts in the past, New York is currently the only state in the nation with a law specifically prohibiting psychologists from prescribing medication. In 2002, psychology sought passage of legislation that would establish its scope of practice under relevant sections of the Education Law. At that time, NYSPA and MSSNY both agreed not to oppose such legislation if, and only if, it included a specific statutory prohibition on psychology prescribing. Therefore, as agreed to by all interested parties, the psychology scope of practice statute stated that psychologists ” . . . shall be prohibited from . . . prescribing or administering drugs as defined in this chapter as a treatment, therapy or professional service in the practice of his or her profession . . .”
Now, psychology apparently intends to renege on its 2002 agreement by seeking to remove the statutory prohibition on prescribing and create a new pathway for psychology prescribing. If a psychology prescribing bill is introduced in the upcoming legislative session, we will need all members to take action – writing to their state legislators, contacting media, educating the public, working with our physician colleagues and supporting our PAC to beat back this assault on the scope of practice of medicine.
We will keep you advised of developments as they occur and look for your support and assistance.
Glenn Martin, M.D., President NYSPA
Seeth Vivek, M.D., Vice President NYSPA
Richard Altesman, M.D., Secretary NYSPA
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., Treasurer NYSPA
James Nininger, M.D., Area II Trustee
Deborah Cross, M.D., Past President NYSPA
Barry B. Perlman, M.D., Chair, NYSPA Legislative Committee