17 August 2022
Today was a significant day for our profession when I was able to get a meeting with staffers from the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, chaired by Washington State Senator Patty Murray.
The intent of the meeting was to make this committee aware of the report we had previously received from mifepristone manufacturer GenBioPro that they were unable to authorize licensed naturopathic physicians as prescribers of mifepristone due to our profession's exclusion by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We met to seek support from this committee in pushing the FDA to include our profession in their list of authorized prescribers of mifepristone (and to increase their awareness of our profession overall).
Immediately prior to this meeting, I learned that we had been previously misinformed by staff at GenBioPro. In fact, the block against naturopathic physicians does not originate at the level of the FDA but rather by company policy. The direct quote from representatives at GenBioPro was: "GenBioPro as an organization made the decision that naturopaths do not meet the requirements regardless of Washington State Law.” 😳
To be clear: it is NOT OKAY with us for private industry to limit our legal scope of practice because they are ignorant or misinformed about our profession. Trust me: we are working on it.
I was able to get verbal confirmation that the other manufacturer of mifepristone, Danco, will authorize licensed naturopathic physicians as prescribers, so we have a couple of members who are actively working on proving (or disproving) this commitment. Once we have a better understanding of the current environment, we will continue to move forward in educating these private companies and help protect our legal scope.
We forged ahead with the meeting with the HELP staffers to advise them of this issue and ensure their awareness of it.
This process is likely to take some time to resolve, but we are approaching it from multiple directions. At this point, we are still in the information-gathering phase.
To that end: please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have managed to become an authorized prescriber of mifepristone OR if you have been denied from becoming an authorized prescriber of mifepristone.
Thank you in advance for your help and support! (And if you're not a member, consider joining us today to help support these efforts at protecting our scope!)
~Angela Ross, ND - WANP Executive Director