24 Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield S7 2QN
Telephone: 0114 2363391

New Prescription Regulations

From the 1st of September 2023, new guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which is the body who regulate Veterinary Surgeons, has introduced changes to the way we prescribe medications. This means that we may need to physically examine your pet to be able to prescribe certain medications.

In summary, these new guidelines have the objective of making sure that the use of certain drugs is carefully monitored to preserve their efficacy for use in the future and to reduce their impact on the environment. The changes also impact upon remote consultations (such as over the phone or by video call) to ensure that they are carried out in a safe manner.

Vets must physically see your pet to prescribe drugs that fall into five categories:

-          Controlled Drugs

-          Antivirals

-          Antifungals

-          Antibiotics

-          And antiparasiticides

Here are some examples of common situations you might find yourself in, where you will have to bring your pet into the practice:

-          Your pet has started itching from the ears, and you had some drops in the past that worked wonders when you last came in. – If these drops had antibiotic and/or antifungal in them, to have them again you must bring your pet to see a vet.

-          Your pet has had skin issues for a long time, and this summer it has flared up again, exactly like before, and the antibiotic tablets you had last time sorted it out in a matter of days – To have this medication again, even if your pet flares up as soon as you stop giving the course of medication, you will need to bring them to see a vet again.

-          Your pet’s eye is itchy and sore, and has some discharge coming out, this is not the first time they’ve had this issue, and you’ve received treatment for it in the past – The previous medication will have very likely had an antibiotic and for this reason you have to bring your pet for a check.

When you come in for a physical health check with your pet, depending upon the problem, the vet who is consulting will be able to advise if the medication you require can be repeated, how many times you can have and how long you can have it without having a physical check. This will be registered on your pet’s notes so that you can have further dispenses for a set amount of time.

Some Prescription only veterinary medications can be dispensed with a veterinary assessment but without a physical exam if the vet assessment deems this and appropriate action with the information that they have available. For example:

-          Poppy has been limping recently, and at her old age this is not uncommon, but you’ve run out of the medication that you had from the last time you brought Poppy in for the same issue – In this situation, when you call us, a vet will check your history and your query/request. If the vet has enough information they may be able to prescribe this medication without physically seeing Poppy.

-          Buddy has run out of his heart medication whilst you are away on holiday, and you know he really doesn’t cope well without this. You call a local vet where you ask for more medication to be prescribed – The vet will request Buddy’s history from us and will be able to decide if a physical appointment is needed or not.

The examples shown above are not an exhaustive list as many other medications and situations could happen which will require a different approach from what you were used to.

So the next time you request medication and we ask that you come in or we request the details from your previous vets please understand that we are doing this so that we are compliant with veterinary regulations as well as meeting the best interest of your pet.

Posted 8th February 2024