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Psychologists allowed to prescribe drugs for mental illness

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 23 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:698
  1. Deborah Josefson
  1. Nebraska

    New Mexico has become the first US state to allow psychologists to prescribe drugs. The controversial move pits psychologists against psychiatrists and may be followed by similar legislation in other states.

    Clinical psychologists hold doctoral degrees and have extensive training in psychotherapy but are not medically qualified. The American Psychological Association has been lobbying since 1984 to gain legislative support for bills that authorise psychologists to prescribe psychiatric drugs. The association argues that it is more cost effective for patients to receive their psychotherapy and drug treatment from one practitioner.

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