CT Naturopathic Physicians Seek Modernized Scope of Practice
Mar 31, 2014 09:51PM
● By Jaime A. Heidel
The Connecticut Naturopathic Physicians Association (CNPA) testified March 14th to the State Legislature about an important proposal for updating, modernizing and expanding the Naturopathic Scope of Practice in the state.
Connecticut’s naturopathic physicians (ND) are seeking the ability to:
• Prescribe specific legend drugs.
• Write prescriptions for devices and durable medical equipment.
• Perform minor office procedures.
Currently, the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health defines the scope of naturopathic practice as dietary and lifestyle counseling as well as a limited number of natural therapies such as physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. These strict guidelines also prevent the doctor from being able to prescribe anything beyond natural supplements.
From their Practitioner Licensing and Investigations Naturopathic Study Guide, naturopathic physicians can only prescribe substances that “are not narcotic substances as defined in subsection (30) of section 21a-240, [and] do not require the written or oral prescription of a licensed practitioner to be dispensed.”
Dr. David M. Brady, vice provost and associate professor of clinical sciences at the University of Bridgeport – home of the area’s largest naturopathic education program – says the current antiquated licensing law in Connecticut for naturopathic doctors significantly impedes the ability of health-conscious consumers in the state to access a broader scope of medical care.
The effort to gain an expanded scope of naturopathic practice is an attempt to catch up with what other states have already been doing for years, Brady says. This, he believes, could potentially reduce the risk of prescription-related injury or death because NDs focus primarily on dietary and lifestyle changes.
“The experience in other states with prescriptive authority for NDs has shown that they use medication judiciously and perhaps more conservatively than their conventional medical counterparts, with an impeccable safety record,” Brady explains.
The CNPA is hopeful the law will be modified in 2014.
Jaime A. Heidel is a Connecticut-based freelance writer whose passion for natural health began when her lifelong mystery symptoms were diagnosed as gluten intolerance by a naturopathic physician. Connect with her at IToldYouIWasSick.com.
If you would like to support this effort, here is what you can do:
• Visit the CPNA Legislative Action website at cqrcEngage.com/Naturopathic/cnpa.
• Create a Profile.
• Write a letter to your legislator by clicking on the “Support Expanded Naturopathic Scope of Practice” sidebar topic.
• Consider donating funds to the cause.