The New Mexico Laws


HBill275,  signed into law in New Mexico on February 28, 2008, was the first law passed in the United States that authorized the creation of a new class of chiropractor, designated as an “Advanced Practice Certified” Chiropractic Physician.  The “APC” chiropractors were to be certified to prescribe certain natural substances. that would be included in a “Chiropractic Formulary” that would require the approval of both the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy and the New Mexico Medical Board.

“Synopsis of Original Bill House Bill 275 amends the Chiropractic Physician Practice Act to include a new registry for “Advanced Practice Chiropractic Certification.” The new certification authorizes certificate holders to have prescriptive authority for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. This prescriptive authority will be limited to therapeutic and diagnostic purposes related to nutrition and pain management with natural agents. The advanced practice may involve prescriptive authority for controlled substances.”  ( HB275 Fiscal Impact Report )  2008HB0275FIR

The bill was amended before it was passed.  The final language added a requirement for the education to be approved by the Medical Board and the Formulary to be approved by both the Medical Board and  the Pharmacy Board.  The bill contained some contradictions, however, that would end up before the New Mexico  Court of Appeals in 2011.  The central issue would revolve around the authority to inject any substance without the express approval of the Medical Board. The contradiction lies in the granting of the legal right to inject certain substances while simultaneously prohibiting the use of “dangerous drugs” without Medical Board approval.


HB 14 was passed in the following year in an attempt to circumvent the necessity for obtaining approval from the Medical Board for the administration of substances not deemed to be “dangerous drugs” and to add the authority to  prescribe OTC drugs.

“Synopsis of Bill

The House Health & Government Affairs Committee substitute for House Bill 14 amends NMSA 61-4-9.2 by expanding on the drugs or substances chiropractors may prescribe to include over-the-counter drugs.

The bill removes the Board of Pharmacy and Medical Board’s authority to approve the drug formulary that the Chiropractic Board has developed and that an advanced practice chiropractor may prescribe from.

The bill adds a new paragraph B to this section giving the Chiropractic Board authority to develop and approve the drug formulary.  Drugs, controlled substances, drugs for administration by injection and substances not listed in NMSA 61-4-9.2A and B or on the approved formulary must be submitted to the Pharmacy and Medical Boards for approval.”   ( HB 14 Fiscal Impact Report )  2009_HB0014_FIR

Although the intent of HB 14 was to clarify Medical Board approval requirements, the different interpretations of the new law led to several lawsuits filed with the New Mexico Court of Appeals in 2011.


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