Illinois state bill allows psychologists to write prescriptions - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Illinois state bill allows psychologists to write prescriptions

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ROCKFORD (WREX) - Illinois may be the third state to allow psychologists to prescribe certain medications to patients. A bill giving them that power is just waiting for the governor's signature, who is expected to sign it.

Currently, psychologists go through therapy with a patient and suggest a proper medicine, but the patient cannot get that medicine until a prescription is written up from a psychiatrist.

That patient is then referred to a psychiatrist who sometimes has a wait of two months. That is two months the patient has to wait to get the medicine to help his or her condition.

After this bill is signed by the governor, a psychologist will be able to write a prescription for a patient, alleviating that wait time.

Dr. Robert Meyer, psychologist with The Mathers Clinic, talks about how much easier it will be for him when this goes into effect.

"We're going to start in therapy right now, and in addition to that we're going to put you on twenty milligrams of prozac or something, and I'll see you next week," he says. "You're providing more to the patient to help them get better quicker."

Proponents of the bill say the availability of psychiatrists throughout the state, mainly in more rural areas, becomes a problem. Giving psychologists an opportunity to prescribe these medications will ultimately save patients more money.

Those who oppose the bill say psychologists don't have the training or education psychiatrists do. However, under legislation, the psychologists are not allowed to treat minors, the elderly or patients with severe cases.

They will also have to go through extensive training and treat a minimum of one hundred patients.

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