SB471-Drugs for New Mexico Chiropractors?
Do you think that Chiropractors, with their limited education, should be able to prescribe drugs?
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The following is from the current president of the International Chiropractic Association. If you feel as I do that this bill should be defeated, please help us by making some phone calls.
On Friday, February 8, 2013 New Mexico Senate Bill 471 (NM SB 471 – Click Here For Text of Bill) was introduced by New Mexico State Senator Cisco McSorley. The bill is a follow-up effort to the failed HB 127 from the previous legislative session in New Mexico that sought to extend prescription rights to chiropractors in New Mexico. Unfortunately, the drug proponents in New Mexico have not only returned with another bill they have increased the breadth of the bill to convert chiropractic to chiropractic medicine and to potentially provide chiropractors with prescription rights including Schedule III to Schedule V drugs and to provide for surgical authority as well.
Please carefully consider the impact of the following provisions of this ill-conceived legislation pending in New Mexico – Note underlined words are being added to the existing law and the deleted words are being removed:
- “…the prescribing and administering of all natural agents … the selling of herbs herbal medicine, nutritional supplements medicine and homeopathic remedies medicine; the administering of a drug by injection… any necessary diagnostic procedure excluding invasive procedures.”
- Implications: Chiropractors in New Mexico could perform spinal taps, could aspirate a joint, could perform needle EMGs, etc.
- “Except as provided by the board by rule and regulation. It “chiropractic medicine” shall exclude operative surgery and the prescription or use of controlled or dangerous drugs; and the practice of acupuncture substances, except where permitted by statute or rule;
- Implications: The New Mexico Board of Chiropractic Examiners could adopt rules to provide for surgical responsibilities for chiropractors and the prescription of the vast majority of pharmaceutical products.
- “It is the purpose of the Chiropractic Physician Practice Act… the right to practice chiropractic medicine as taught and practiced in standard accredited colleges of chiropractic … by use of any methods provided in the Chiropractic Physician Practice Act, as provided in rules and regulations established and monitored by the board but excluding operative surgery and prescription or use of controlled or dangerous drugs as provided in rules and regulations established and monitored by the board.”
- Implications: A chiropractor can use any method–pharmaceutical or surgical approved by the Board.
- “…chiropractic physician with a prescription certificate may prescribe, administer and dispense legend drugs or controlled substances included in Schedules III through V of the Controlled Substances Act.
- Implications: Schedule III drugs include: stimulants, narcotics, depressants, steroids and hallucinogens, including hydrocodone, anabolic steroids, barbiturates, etc.
- “The board may refuse to issue or may suspend or revoke any license …upon the grounds that the licensee or applicant …(a) procuring, aiding or abetting a criminal abortion;”
- Implications: Participating in a non-criminal abortion could be acceptable under Board rules providing for the same
The arguments offered in the previous legislation in favor of injectable products were expressed as being related to nutritional supplementation and providing the ability to remove patients from drugs. The profession is now faced not only with the advent of prescription rights for dangerous controlled substances but also the potential for surgical procedures to become a part of the practice of chiropractic.
Status of the Legislation:
The bill has been introduced with a single sponsor into the New Mexico Senate. It has been assigned to the Public Affairs Committee and the Judiciary Committee of the Senate. The bill will in all likelihood be considered in that order – first by the Public Affairs Committee and, if passed, by the Judiciary Committee. There is no companion bill in the New Mexico House, although the bill submission deadline is February 14, 2013.
This bill could be considered by the Public Affairs Committee as early as Saturday, February 16, 2013.
Your Immediate Action is Required — to Help Kill this Bill in the First Committee:
Telephone calls requesting opposition to SB 471 to the offices of members of the New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee are essential.
— If you are from New Mexico call every member of the Senate Public Affairs Committee and make sure they know you are a New Mexico voter.
— If you are not from New Mexico be honest if asked if you are a New Mexico voter and convey the danger that this precedent represents for the public across the country
Talking Points for Opposition – If passed this bill would:
- Expose the public to risk with respect to drug use prescribed/administered by undertrained providers.
- Allow for procedures for which that there is no commensurate training in professional education with the permitted increased scope of practice.
- Confuse to the public with use of the term “chiropractic medicine” as it relates to the expected scope and of care from a chiropractor.
- Serve only to add to the drug overuse epidemic in New Mexico.
New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee:
|SenatorsSenator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, Chair (D)
Senator Bill B. O’Neill, Vice Chair (D)
Senator Jacob R. Candelaria, Member (D)
Senator Ron Griggs, Member (R)*
Senator Daniel A. Ivey-Soto, Member (D)
Senator Timothy M. Keller, Member (D)
Senator Gay G. Kernan, Member (R)
Senator C. W. Brandt, Ranking Member (R)
*(Senator Griggs serves on the Judiciary Committee as well)
This situation demands your immediate response and action — don’t delay and don’t leave it up to someone else to address this critical matter affecting the future of the chiropractic profession. Please call.
Gary L. Walsemann, DC, FICA