Dispensing Veterinary Medicines
Over the years we, like all veterinary practices, have used many different medicines on animals. We use some drugs that are licensed for use in animals, some that are licensed for use in people and some, called generics, that are not licensed as such but which are made to a standard laid down by the government and which are the medicines that the government insists Doctors use on us as they are much cheaper.
It has always been the policy of our practice to use the medicines that have produced the most successful results with the least side-effects at the lowest cost.
Over the years there has been more and more pressure from organisations concerned about consumer safety to limit the use of medicines in animals used for food to those which we know leave no residues behind that might be harmful to people. This is not because there have been any problems, but it is felt that this will prevent problems in the future. It is now an offence for Veterinary Surgeons to supply medicines for animals, whether food animals or pets, that are not specifically licensed for use in animals if there is a licensed alternative.
In practice this means that many of the medicines that we supply have specific licenses for use in animals and so we are obliged to use them instead of cheaper generics.
In order to harmonise the dispensing of animal and human medicines and to reduce the chances of mistakes happening, as well as to comply with the requirements of the Health and Safety and COSHH Regulations, a code of dispensing practice is in place which means that:
- all requests for repeat prescriptions must be written down, checked and approved by a veterinary surgeon
- drugs must be dispensed by one person and checked by another before they can be given to you
- a written record of every medicine dispensed must be kept with details of who authorised it, who dispensed it and who checked it.
- under normal circumstances, it is our policy to prescribe no more than three months worth of treatment at one time other than flea and worm treatments.
- when requesting a repeat prescription we need to have a detailed report on your pet's condition to enable the vet to prescribe correctly.
We would therefore respectfully request that you telephone or email us two days before you would like to collect a repeat prescription so that we can dispense the medicines, or provide a written prescription before you call in.
Giving us 48 hours notice of the need for a repeat prescription should mean that you will not be kept waiting.
We are not allowed to dispense prescription only medicines for animals we have not seen for more than six months. Therefore, if your pet is on long term medication, we must ask you to ensure that we give your pet a health check every six months at least, even if you feel that all is well. This regulation has been brought in to help protect animals from suffering caused by problems developing that are overlooked because the animal is on medication.
Returning Drugs for Credit.
The Code of Practice lays down that we are not allowed to give credit for returned drugs when these drugs were collected from us more than 24 hrs previously. The reason for this is that modern drugs are very easily damaged by improper storage and so they may not work when dispensed to another client.
Please do not ask for credit for drugs when you return them more than 24 hrs after you collected them from us.
For those clients who wish to have a written prescription instead of the practice dispensing the medicines there will be a charge for each prescription to cover the administration time.