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STATE | ASPS and WA: Stop Naturopaths from Administering Injections

In July, the Washington State Board of Naturopathy (Board) released a proposal that would allow naturopaths to prescribe and administer botulinum toxin neuromodulators. Naturopaths are holistic healers who are licensed in multiple states, but who do not receive proper medical education and training. ASPS stands firmly in opposition to non-medical professionals performing surgery. Following the release of the proposal, the Society notified the Washington Society of Plastic Surgeons (WSPS) and joining efforts with the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) and other national specialty organizations to oppose the proposal.

Under the guidance of WSMA, the house of medicine launched advocacy efforts aimed at the Board via comment letter writing and in-person testimony during the September 7 hearing. ASPS was instrumental in providing guidelines and resources to the WSMA as the organization worked to develop its defense. ASPS and WSPS penned a letter calling on the Board to withdraw its proposal due to the inherent risks in allowing undertrained professionals to administer botulinum toxin neuromodulators and other inert substances. ASPS included its policy statement on the administration of those substances, which goes into great detail on the background of the development of injecting botulinum toxins and other similar therapies.

Given the overwhelming opposition voiced by the house of medicine, the Board declined to immediately adopt the proposal during the September 7 hearing. The Board will need to hold a subsequent meeting to deliberate adoption, non-adoption, or rerelease or the proposed rule. ASPS will continue to work with the Washington Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Washington State Medical Association to defeat the proposal if the Board schedules the follow-up meeting.

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