Florida now joins 48 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing physician assistants (PAs) the ability to prescribe controlled medications, while nurse practitioners are now allowed to prescribe in all 50 states. Kentucky remains the only state that does not allow PAs to prescribe controlled substances.

The new law is set to take effect on January 1, 2017, however there will be a delay in actual prescribing since PAs and NPs will have to navigate through procedural policies with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) before they will be able to write for controlled drugs.

“This landmark legislation increases the availability of quality medical care by allowing PAs to better meet the needs of their patients,” Jeffrey Katz, president of the American Academy of PAs said in a statement.

For more information visit AAPA.org or AANP.org.