INTERIM UPDATE, June 3, 2023:
Rainbow Progress Fund provides a firsthand account of the joint Boards of Medicine committee hearing on June 1, including false and eugenicist claims by Board member Patrick Hunter (a member of the anti-trans Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine and Catholic Medical Association) that transitioning “lowers IQ” of trans people.
- The committee failed to advance any of the necessary informed consent forms, mandated by SB 254, that are needed by MDs and DOs before they can resume providing new prescriptions. This means that until these forms become available, MDs and DOs cannot prescribe their established trans patients any new change in dosage of their current medication, or add any new medication to their existing HRT regimen.
- Simone Chriss of Southern Legal Counsel, a nonprofit currently bringing litigation against SB 254 and its adult care restrictions, explains the current effective policy and status of prescribing restrictions on MDs/DOs as of June 3, 2023:
“While no draft consent forms have been released yet, the Boards are expected to file an emergency rule soon that will provide clarification about continuation of care for patients while the informed consent forms are being developed. The Boards’ discussions over the past two days indicated that, as we’d shared previously, physicians can continue prescribing to patients who provided informed consent and were first prescribed prior to May 17th. The emergency rule should provide guidance on whether and how new prescriptions and adjustments to medications can be prescribed prior to the adoption of informed consent forms. No emergency rule language has been posted yet on the Florida Administrative Register.”
- Rainbow Progress Fund explains the unacceptable medical danger of the current situation for trans patients: “Those currently on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will not be able to adjust their medication until the new consent forms are finalized. This delay poses potential risks to patients whose hormone levels may require immediate attention.”
- To be clear, even when these forms become available, this does not and will not change SB 254’s statutory ban on NPs and APRNs prescribing gender-affirming care. As 80% of trans adults on HRT in Florida receive their prescriptions via an NP or APRN, the effects of SB 254 have permanently disrupted the established prescriptions and ongoing medical treatment of thousands of trans adults across the state. SB 254 continuously jeopardizes the trans community’s health and must still be mitigated in its entirety.
- No other state has ever imposed SB 254’s novel and selective restrictions on NPs and APRNs, who have prescribing authority just as doctors and physicians can prescribe medication. NPs and APRNs in all other states – and in Florida until SB 254 was enacted this May – have always been able to prescribe all gender-affirming hormone therapy, including schedule III medications like testosterone. “NPs have the prescriptive authority to prescribe controlled substances in all fifty states.” (Zhang & Patel, 2022) There has never been any reason for this unique new restriction on NPs alone, prohibiting gender-affirming prescriptions alone, other than Florida’s intentional targeting of the ongoing medically necessary treatment of almost all trans adults in the state.
- The committee concluded that their next meeting will occur in three weeks, on June 23 at an undetermined location or video call, to continue considering the required adult consent forms. This is completely unacceptable. The Boards must issue the mandated informed consent forms immediately in order to restore the ability of MDs and DOs to freely manage and prescribe any new or changed medically necessary treatment for their trans patients, even as this is itself utterly insufficient to mitigate the overwhelming danger to health and life caused by SB 254.
- None of this is over until SB 254 is completely reversed.
We will continue to provide updates as we confirm any further policy actions by the Boards and their impacts on trans patients and our providers. The policy chart below will be updated to incorporate this information when it becomes available. Thank you to the trans community of Florida for closely monitoring this situation and assisting us, and to our allies here and abroad. The world will see that we are not alone and you are a part of making that happen. Your strength and unstoppable spirit in an unimaginable situation is what will ensure we survive. As long as Florida exists, Transgender Florida will be a fact. —Zinnia Jones, June 3, 2023