Here is a bit of news about the political issues and activities that the WANP is currently involved in.
Authority for Botox and Cosmetic Products
At their November meeting, the Board of Naturopathy finalized language for the rules that will give NDs authority to prescribe and administer Botox and inert substances for cosmetic procedures. The final approval of these rules will likely occur at the Board’s quarterly meeting in May 2018 and then would take effect several weeks after that. The original legislation about Botox was passed in 2005, pending rule making, so this process has been a long time in coming! There will likely be one more public forum on the new rules, but our impression is that the Board will move to approve this final language without any additional changes.
New CE Rules Are in the Works
The Board of Naturopathy has also been working on updating the annual naturopathic CE requirements. Washington has not updated CE rules for many years and the pending changes will bring our state in line with most other states that regulate NDs. While we are aren’t able to share final language at this time, it appears that the new rules will likely require 30 credits per year with 7.5 of those in pharmacy topics. The Board has also proposed adopting a two-year cycle to complete the credits, so we expect NDs will need to earn 60 credits every two years, with 15 of those in pharmaceutical topics. There will also be new categories defining what types of courses are eligible and allowing a minor amount of credits to be earned in self-study, teaching, residencies and other non-traditional formats. Once finalized, implementation of the rules will likely take a year or more, so while changes are coming don’t expect any sudden changes.
Upcoming Legislative Session
The WANP is actively preparing to put forward a new variation of our bill to expand prescriptive authority in the upcoming session. This will authorize NDs to prescribe medications in Schedules III, IV and V. In addition, the bill will update language in our law (RCW 18.36A) related to minor office procedures and will clarify ND authority for signing public health documents such as death certificates, guardianships, disability determinations and related documents.
The 2018 legislative session is short – just 60 days. Every other year the session is 120 days. For us to be successful we have to ready and as uncontroversial as possible. To that end, we (Drs. Adam Geiger, Chris Krumm and our lobbyist Terry Kohl and myself) recently met with House Healthcare Chair, Rep Eileen Cody – and representatives of the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA). The purpose of the meeting was to address the WSMA’s concerns about our bill. They have opposed expanded prescriptive authority and testified against our bill in the past. This meeting was the first time we’ve been able to discuss these issues face to face and we appreciate Rep Cody hosting the meeting. In response to the WSMA’s concerns, we have proposed modifications that would develop appropriate limits in dosage, quantity and duration of controlled substance prescription to be determined by the Board of Naturopathy in consultation with the Pharmacy Commission. We are now awaiting the response from WSMA and Rep Cody and hope to have a new House bill drafted in the next week or so.
It is still too early to put a call out to our membership for specific action – but that could come soon. Please stay tuned and when that time comes, be ready to take action. The most likely action will be to call your legislators and request that they support our bill – but we will have specifics for you at that time. Depending on how the bill process progresses, we may also arrange a lobby day at the capitol where anyone who is able to can join us to meet with legislators in person.
WANP Political Action Fund
Our goal for this year has been to raise $5,000 for our PAC fund. This money is used exclusively for campaign contribution to legislative leadership in both parties in both House and Senate. So far we have raised $3745 towards our goal. If you haven’t yet contributed, please take a moment and visit our donation site on WANP.org. All amounts are helpful!
Thanks for your attention to this and for your support. If you have any questions about the above issues or anything else, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
If you’re not currently a member, please consider joining the WANP. Our ability to represent the profession is fully dependent on the support of our members.
Bob May, ND – Executive Director