Physiotherapists have been able to train to be “supplementary prescribers” since 2005. This means that they were able to prescribe drugs to people in their care if countersigned by a doctor or working under an agreed protocol. However this month physiotherapists and podiatrists have been granted the right to train to be independent prescribers.
The roles of physios are hugely variable depending on the area in which they work but for musculoskeletal physiotherapists this could mean the ability to prescribe painkillers, anti-inflammatories and therapeutic injections for joint pain.
This is a huge step forward for our profession. However, we think it is important for people to understand that the medicines physios will be able to prescribe will be only those that support the treatment offered by physiotherapists, and only physiotherapists who undergo further training will be able to prescribe.