Prescribing rights are in reach for psychologists in both states.

Psychologists in Iowa and Idaho are a step closer to exercising their prescribing rights. 

In Iowa, administrative rules for prescribing psychologists were approved Feb. 8, 2019, by the state legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee. The new rules, which were developed jointly by the state’s psychology and medical boards, went into effect on Feb. 20.

The rules provide clarity regarding what kind of training is required for prescribing psychologists, and now they will be able to pursue that training, said Elizabeth Lonning, PsyD, MSCP, the chairperson of the Iowa Psychological Association’s psychopharmacology committee. 

“I’m pleased that our mental health delivery system can be expanded to better meet the needs of people in Iowa, especially in rural areas,” Lonning said. 

Iowa passed its RxP legislation in May 2016. It was the fourth state to give prescribing rights to appropriately trained psychologists.    

Similar developments occurred in Idaho, which was the fifth state to pass RxP legislation in 2017. In early February, the Health & Welfare Committees in both houses of the state legislature approved RxP licensing rules developed by an advisory committee of psychologists, physicians and a pharmacist. Now, those rules will be added to a bill that will be voted on by the full legislature. If approved, they will go into effect when the legislative session concludes in early spring, said Deborah Katz, executive director of the Idaho Psychological Association (IPA).

Susan Farber, PhD, chair of the RxP committee at IPA, said that psychologists seeking the appropriate certification to prescribe may apply to the state’s psychology board at that time.   

“Because of [Idaho’s] geography, we have wide swaths of deeply underserved populations. For mental health services, RxP is a natural solution,” said Farber, who also served on the advisory committee that helped develop the regulations.

Additionally, IPA is working with the School of Pharmacy at Idaho State University to establish a master’s of science in clinical psychopharmacology. Students will be able to matriculate this fall, according to V. Page Haviland, PhD, IPA past-president and consultant to the program. 

Potential applicants to that program can find more information by visiting the program website.