Senator Tries Again On Expanded Prescribing Powers

Sep 2, 2015

A Senate Republican on Tuesday proposed a wide-ranging health bill that includes allowing advanced-registered nurse practitioners to prescribe controlled substances.

The bill (SB 210), filed by state Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, could help renew a long-running lobbying battle in which doctors have opposed expanded drug-prescribing powers for advanced-registered nurse practitioners.

House leaders recently have wanted to give nurse practitioners more authority, but the idea has died in the Senate. Grimsley's bill, which will be considered during the 2016 legislative session, would include some restrictions on the ability of nurse practitioners to prescribe controlled substances.

As an example, physicians would be the only people allowed to dispense medications or prescribe controlled substances at pain-management clinics.

Also, the bill calls for creation of a committee that would recommend what is known as a "formulary" of controlled substances that nurse practitioners could not prescribe or could only prescribe for specific uses or in limited quantities.