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by Dr. Mariangela Penna | 8/17/2012 8:34:14 AM
This past month in the United Kingdom, physical therapists gained the right to prescribe medications independently.
Here in the states, many of our colleagues believe that PTs were not going after primary care. But the changes are already happening overseas, it is just a matter of time before this spreads across the pond.. Physical therapist can now prescribe for the conditions that are clinically appropriate for their patient population. The question for us is how will we participate in the health care system without the ability to manage our patient’s medications. Manage is the operative word here for without the ability to prescribe we cannot manage their medications and without our input, they may never have the opportunity to be exposed to alternative methods of care. Here in NY we cannot even have the discussion of their OTC medication use. If we are to fill the niche in wellness care that is coming with healthcare reform, we have to be able to have the discussion on their medication usage and be able to do more than “detect and correct vertebral subluxation and the effects thereof” it will be a stretch to make that part of the discussion when it come to obesity, tobacco cessation, and the like.
As a profession, we need to have meaningful dialogue, both nationally and on the state level to come to the conclusion as to whether we continue to allow other professions to expand their scope and the numbers of people they reach or stay as we are in our separate and distinct place.
To read the entire article on PT prescription rights in the UK: