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CT Naturopaths Seek Limited Drug Prescriptive Authority

This will be the fourth year the Connecticut Naturopathic Physicians Association (CNPA) and its supporters are lobbying for a limited drug authority for naturopathic physicians (ND). Over the past several years, the organization, practitioners, patients and ND advocates have continued the momentum of educating and forging alliances with legislative leaders on the merits and need for a bill to pass both chambers and arrive on the governor’s desk for his signature.

“While the State of Connecticut was one of the first of the now 17 states (and the District of Columbia) to provide for licensure of naturopathic physicians, the naturopathic scope of practice in Connecticut was updated last year but does not allow for prescriptive authority,” states CNPA. “As a practical matter, this means that the statute does not accurately reflect the dramatic advances in the level of education, training, experience and overall competence of NDs over the course of what is now almost a century since the statute was first enacted.”

The 2017 legislative session began on January 4 and continues to June 5. Over the next five months, CNPA will submit bill language to the Public Health Committee (PHC) that gives NDs in Connecticut limited drug authority. A Senate co-chair of the PHC has confirmed a push to raise the bill before the committee.

Once the bill is raised, CNPA members, ND students and any supporters are asked to contact PHC members and ask them to support voting the bill out of the PHC. The PHC will schedule a hearing for the bill. If the committee votes the bill out of the PHC, it will then go to the House. At that time, the public is asked to contact and ask for legislator support to vote for the bill. The next steps would be sending it for a Senate vote and then, if passed, it will go to the governor’s desk for signature.

Actions interested parties can take:

• If you are an ND, consider membership in the CNPA.

• Contact your legislators to voice your support to have the scope of practice modernized for NDs in the state.

• Reach out to CNPA if you need educational material to use in communicating with legislators and to find out if other financial or legislative help is needed.

For more information, visit CNPAOnline.org. For legislative-specific updates, visit CNPAOnline.org/Legislative-Action.

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