Missouri psychologists seek ability to prescribe drugs

JEFFERSON CITY | A mental health group again is urging Missouri lawmakers to let psychologists prescribe medications.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors and can write prescriptions. But psychologists currently cannot, except for some practicing in New Mexico, Louisiana and the military.

Supporters contend that allowing specially trained psychologists to write prescriptions would improve access to mental health care in Missouri.

Under the proposal, a psychologist would need to have a postdoctoral master's degree in psychopharmacology, pass a national test and have an ongoing referral agreement with a doctor.

The idea is nearly identical to a bill filed last session that did not pass.

Opposition to the idea in the past has come from the Missouri State Medical Association.