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Limited Evidence on Other States’ Experiences That Allowing Psychologists to Prescribe Psychotropic Drugs Improves Access to Mental Health Services, Report No. 09-26, April 2009
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  • To address problems with access to mental health services, two states—New Mexico and Louisiana—allow specially trained psychologists to prescribe psychotropic drugs. At least 17 other states have considered but not adopted this step since 2000.
  • Supporters of granting prescribing authority to psychologists assert that it would increase access to mental health services, particularly in rural areas where few psychiatrists practice. However, opponents of this action contend that that there is little evidence that extending prescription privileges to psychologists would improve access to needed mental health services and that this action could result in medication errors.
  • There is limited information available on the experiences of New Mexico and Louisiana in this area. Few psychologists have completed training and become licensed to prescribe psychotropic drugs in both states. Except for anecdotal information, there is little evidence that allowing psychologists to prescribe psychotropic drugs has expanded access to mental health services in these states.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Department of Health
Medical Quality Assurance

    Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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