Observers of the American Psychological Association's enthusiastic support for the gathering momentum to accredit psychologists with prescribing privileges will detect professional and economic motives among others: the same can also be said of the AMA's campaign to stop it. Health care in the USA is underpinned by a business culture in which psychologists and psychiatrists operate widely as independent practitioners in the open market place. The prestige value and pecuniary advantages to American psychologists would not be insignificant. Also, since health care insurance companies purchase separate psychological and medical treatment for their customers, it would be to their economic advantage for these treatments to be embodied in one individual. Thankfully, pressures on this scale have yet to reach these shores. Nevertheless, serious consideration should be given to establishing a grade of prescribing psychologist in the NHS if it can be shown to raise the overall quality of care; if prescribing could be done appropriately and safely; and if this did not detract from the quality of psychological intervention.
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