To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to enable physician associates to prescribe medication in tackling the spread of covid-19.
Whilst there is no legal requirement for a profession to be regulated before it can be given prescribing responsibilities, all healthcare professions that have prescribing responsibilities in the United Kingdom are regulated. This is because prescribing is a high-risk activity.
Physicians associates (PAs) are not regulated and therefore do not have prescribing responsibilities. Work to bring PAs into regulation is underway and the Department plans to consult on draft legislation later this year.
Arrangements can be made under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 when a disease is, or is imminently anticipated to be, a pandemic. These arrangements can set aside the usual prescribing arrangements and allow medicines to be supplied under a protocol approved by Ministers or a National Health Service body.