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  N.M. Signs New Prescription Law

  By Richard Benke
  Associated Press Writer
  Wednesday, March 6, 2002; 9:36 PM

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –– New Mexico has become the first state to let
psychologists prescribe drugs for mental illness, a move lamented by some

  Supporters of the legislation, signed Tuesday by Gov. Gary Johnson, argued
the change would help expand mental health services, particularly in rural
areas of New Mexico.

  In many states, only physicians – that is, those holding a medical
degree – and nurse practitioners with special training can prescribe drugs.
Psychiatrists hold medical degrees. Psychologists generally hold Ph.D.'s or
master's degrees, not medical degrees

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
It is nothing but pharm industry-friendly to allow psychologists to prescribe. Next, MFCCs and
medical social workers, to be followed, soon thereafter by making al
psychiatric drugs, OTCs, over the counters. Pharma is in control, they may
as well take their seats in the Congress where they have more than one

  The American Psychiatric Association contended the measure "threatens
quality of medical care and could result in an incalculable cost in human
life and health care dollars." The American Medical Association has also
come out against allowing psychologists to prescribe medication. 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
AMA and APA, partners in making 'patients' of normals of all ages, want to
keep the drug money for themselves]

  "We believe that the Legislature and the governor in New Mexico have
placed patient health and safety at risk," said Richard Harding, president
of the American Psychiatric Association. 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
President Harding--he of the
APA can be seen selling drugs in a special advertising supplement in the
11/20/01 Family Circle magazine. In his essay therein he repeats the 'big
lie' prominently: that psychiatric conditions/diagnoses are actual brain
diseases, when none of them are]

  But the governor's office said safeguards are built into the measure.

  Among other things, psychologists who want to prescribe drugs would have
to get a state license to do so. The state Board of Medical Examiners would
establish the guidelines for training programs for those seeking a license
and would likely help oversee their drug licensing, doctors said Wednesday.

  Dr. C. Grant La Farge, secretary-treasurer of the board, said it's too
soon to say exactly what role the board will have in licensing and that the
issue will be taken up at its meeting in May.

  There are only 95 psychiatrists in all of New Mexico, with a population of
1.8 million, according to the New Mexico Psychological Association.

  © 2002 The Associated Press

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