Section III. PERSONNEL AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE MEDICATIONS
At one time only physicians could prescribe medications. Now, a wide variety of
health-care providers are authorized to prescribe medications in an Army pharmacy. In
order to be competent in knowing who can prescribe for what, you must know two
things. One, you must know that health-care providers are authorized to prescribe
medications. Two, you must know which medications the health-care providers are
authorized to prescribe.
SOURCES OF AUTHORITY FOR PRESCRIBING MEDICATIONS
In order to maintain the most up-to-date knowledge in this important area you
must constantly read regulations and other sources (for example, minutes from the
Therapeutic Agents Board). Immediately following is a discussion of some of the
references you should read and study.
a. AR 40-2 (Army Medical Treatment Facilities General Administration-
Chapter 7, Pharmacy Management). As the name implies, the chapter on pharmacy
management in this regulation specifically states the personnel who can prescribe
medications to be dispensed in an Army pharmacy. Furthermore, the regulation states
which particular medications can be prescribed by a specific authorized prescriber. This
regulation is periodically updated. Therefore, ensure that you have the most current
regulation to use as a reference.
b. AR 40-48 (Health Care Extenders). AR 40-48 establishes policies
concerning the duties, roles, and capabilities of health care extenders. This regulation
defines a health care extender as any individual other than a physician or dentist whose
assigned duties include aspects of the practice of medicine/dentistry, and is performing
such duties under the direction and clinical supervision of a physician or dentist.
Included in this definition are physical therapists that have been designated to evaluate,
diagnose, and treat patients that have musculoskeletal complaints and occupational
therapists who have been designated to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients that
have neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorders of the hand. The regulation
provides a description of these health-care extenders:
(1) Nurse clinicians. Nurse clinicians are selected members of the Army
Nurse Corps who have received advanced education in certain clinical specialties to
enable them to evaluate, diagnose, and treat, including health maintenance, health
education, under the direction and supervision of a physician, and who have been
awarded the Additional Skill Identifier for practicing in the extended role.