Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



January 11, 2022

Senator Osten to Introduce Bill Allowing Naturopathic Physicians to Prescribe Some Medications

HARTFORD – Following on the heels of a practice allowed in more than a dozen other states, state Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) said today she will introduce legislation this session allowing naturopathic physicians in Connecticut to prescribe certain medications in order to help reduce the cost of health care for their Connecticut patients.

Naturopathic medicine is a system that uses natural remedies to help the body heal itself; naturopathic physicians embrace many therapies, including herbs, massage, acupuncture, exercise and nutritional counseling. Naturopathic physicians are educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical colleges.

Of the 22 states – including Connecticut – that license or register naturopathic physicians, only 15 states grant naturopathic physicians some type of prescription authority, such as writing scripts for antibiotics. Sen. Osten wants Connecticut state law to be changed to allow naturopathic physicians to have that ability.

“I believe this change will better serve Connecticut residents and will decrease health care costs in Connecticut if patients can go to their primary care naturopathic physician to get a prescription they need, and not have to get a referral and do more travelling,” Sen. Osten said.

Dr. Myriah Hinchey, a naturopathic physician in Hebron, says she has been talking with Sen. Osten about the need for a change for more than a year, noting hundreds of naturopathic physicians in Connecticut and their patients can benefit from a change in state law.

“We’re not asking for something that we haven’t already studied in the classroom and been board-certified to do,” she said.

Dr. Hinchey said it’s not unusual for her to diagnose a urinary tract infection in a patient, but she then has to refer that patient to their primary care physician, who has to arrange another office visit in order to receive a prescription for antibiotics.

“So that patient is waiting, sitting in pain, waiting to see their PCP where they will have to pay another co-pay for that office visit. And it’s not just the co-pay that comes out of the patient’s pocket – it’s like we’re double-billing insurance companies – all in the midst of a health care system that is already backed-up.”

The 2022 legislative session begins Wednesday, February 9.