Medicines, prescribing and injection therapy

Medicine use, prescribing and injection therapy are within the scope of the UK physiotherapy profession.

Consultation on controlled drugs

The Department of Health has completed a public consultation regarding, amongst other things, the introduction of an additional four controlled drugs to the list that independent prescriber physiotherapists may prescribe. 

Independent prescriber physiotherapists have been able to prescribe from a limited list of seven controlled drugs since 2015. This public consultation was the culmination of several years’ work to add to the existing list in order to keep it fit for purpose and in line with both clinical practice and current health policy.

We are awaiting the results of the consultation to be published. If accepted, there will still need to be a period of work for any proposed changes to go through the required Parliamentary and legislative process. We do not know any time scales at this stage and will update members via this page.


Medicines

All physiotherapists can give medicines advice to their patients. This is an expectation of reasonable physiotherapy practice for many conditions.

They can also supply and administer medicines to patients under either a Patient Specific Direction, or a Patient Group Direction.

Medicine use
Colourful drug tablets shown in blister packets

Prescribing

Physiotherapists who have additional prescribing annotations to their HCPC registration may prescribe all licensed medicines - including seven controlled drugs - which are within the scope of physiotherapy prescribing practice.

Prescribing for physiotherapists
Practice guidance for physiotherapist supplementary and/or independent prescribers

Injection therapy

Injection therapy is the administration of medicines, and other selected products, to intra- and extra-articular tissues and joint spaces by invasive injection.

Injection therapy also includes aspiration of joint spaces.

Injection therapy in physiotherapy
an injection syringe