Seems like 2007 is a hot year for RxP, a bill is currently moving in the Illinois Senate Rules Committee: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/Bil...9&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=28496&SessionID=51&GA=95 "Synopsis As Introduced Amends the Clinical Psychologist Licensing Act to include the certification of prescribing clinical psychologists. Provides that the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shall certify licensed, doctoral-level psychologists to prescribe and dispense drugs in accordance with applicable State and federal laws. Sets forth application and renewal requirements, prescribing practices, controlled substance compliance requirements, and requirements concerning interaction with the State Board of Pharmacy of the Department, as the areas relate to prescribing clinical psychologists and prescriptive authority. Grants certain rulemaking authority to the Clinical Psychologist Licensing and Disciplinary Board. Makes other changes. Amends the Nursing and Advanced Practice Nursing Act, the Pharmacy Practice Act of 1987, and the Illinois Controlled Substances Act to make corresponding changes." Arguments for the Bill From another site: "More than 2,796,000 Illinois citizens are in need of mental health treatment that includes expert diagnosis, talking therapy possibly combined with medication. There are too few psychiatrists to meet this need. Clinical Psychologists are already experts in diagnosis and talk therapy. Medical Psychologists take the additional training necessary to add medication management to their treatment repertoire. The fine record of the prescribing clinical psychologists in the military proves that this is a way to make additional services available to the people of Illinois. ========================== Yes, there is a mental health crisis in Illinois. ========================== • 614,000 seriously mentally ill adults (18 years and older) in Illinois are in need of treatment. • 1 in 10 Illinois children have a mental health problem (1,265,000) severe enough to cause impairment, but only 1 in 5 of those (253,070) receive treatment. • 230,927 adolescents (age 13-17) show signs of depression severe enough that they are unable to participate in their normal activities for more than 2 weeks in a row. • 306,000 older adult citizens of Illinois suffer from depression and 175,000 older adult citizens of Illinois suffer from an anxiety disorder. • Suicide is 11th among the leading causes of death in Illinois. Suicide is the 6th most common cause of death in Illinois children ages 5-14 (13 deaths in 2002) and it is 3rd among the leading causes of death among Illinois' young people ages 15-25. • Suicide rates for rural areas are 5% higher than for urban areas. ========================== Yes, there is a shortage of psychiatrists in Illinois. ========================== • The federal government has determined that there are too few psychiatrists. 74 counties (out of 102) have been listed as Mental Health Shortage Areas, and 70 of these are rural counties. • Fewer medical doctors are selecting psychiatry as a specialty. • Although there were about 5,500 physicians in residency training in Illinois in 1999-2000, only 206 were in psychiatric residencies. This year there are only about 200 physicians in psychiatric residencies in Illinois. • Overall, Illinois has only 1 psychiatrist or psychiatric resident for every 1,553 citizens who are in immediate and ongoing need of mental health services. • Among psychiatrists, the greatest shortage is for those with subspecialty training in child and adolescent psychiatry. Illinois has only 1 child and adolescent psychiatrist for every 5,750 children who are in immediate need of mental health services. Our legislation meets this need. ========================== Passing our proposed legislation would allow Medical Psychologists to decrease the cost and to increase the availability and the effectiveness of mental health treatment. ========================== • Medical Psychologists in the military have been successfully trained to prescribe and manage mental health medications. • Thousands of patients already have received prescriptions without injury from medical psychologists who practice within the Department of Defense and in New Mexico and Louisiana. • Exhaustive evaluations of the military's medical psychologists found that "the graduates filled critical needs, and performed with excellence wherever they served"; "without exception, their supervisors, all psychiatrists, stated that the graduates' quality of care was good to excellent." • There are more than twice as many licensed clinical psychologists as there are psychiatrists in Illinois. While not all clinical psychologists will complete the extensive additional education and training necessary to become medical psychologists, some who have are working in state facilities and in rural areas where the need is most critical. ========================== Our legislation would insure that medical psychologists receive the training needed to prescribe safely. ========================== • The legislation mandates that medical psychologists will complete a program of training that is the equivalent of an additional masters degree in clinical psychopharmacology and a year practicum after the person is already a licensed clinical psychologists with a doctoral degree. • A medical psychologist would be required to complete a practicum under the supervision of a licensed physician, and then pass a difficult standardized exam before gaining the authority to prescribe. • The legislation mandates that the medical psychologist would only prescribe after consultation with and agreement of the patients primary care physician. • New Mexico and Louisiana have passed the APA-recommended legislation that permits medical psychologists to prescribe and manage psychotropic drugs."