Advice line: prescribe controlled drugs

If you prescribe controlled drugs, the CSP wants to hear from you, says Pip White.

Physiotherapy practice evolves thanks to the innovations and subtle changes to practice made every day by our members. Some changes require a more concerted effort when the outcome required is a change in the law. Many of you will remember the efforts required over 10 years to achieve independent prescribing by physios in 2013.
The CSP is once again seeking to change the law, this time by widening the range of controlled drugs that independent prescribing physiotherapists can use. ‘Controlled drugs’ are a group of tightly restricted medicines which means that the evidence required to make the case for change for health prescribing, while ensuring public safety, is complex and is scrutinised in the most minute detail.
Independent prescribers can currently only prescribe from a limited list of seven controlled drugs. Changes to clinical prescribing practice and re-classification of drugs mean that since the original controlled drugs list was approved in 2015, physiotherapists may not now be able to prescribe the optimal controlled drugs for their patient.
The CSP has started working with NHS England to revise the physiotherapy list of controlled drugs. The involvement of our prescribing members is crucial to the success of this work. The CSP wants independent prescribers to provide objective data on their own practice experience of prescribing controlled drugs, together with evidence of the impact of the current restrictions on patient experience, patient outcomes and service delivery.
We have already received some excellent case studies from individual members and it is great to work with these members. This helped identify what new controlled drugs are needed and the current settings where patient care could be improved.
With this kind of work, the Society can work with government to present the case, but we rely on you to provide us with the real life examples of everyday practice whereby patient care is restricted by the current law. Can you help us?  We really can’t do it without you. 
  • Pip White is a CSP professional adviser
Pip White CSP professional adviser

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