You may be aware that on 1st of September 2023, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (the regulating body for veterinary professionals) updated its guidance on when a physical examination is required before a vet can prescribe medication.
Most Drugs Can Now Be Prescribed Remotely
Depending on the treatment your pet requires, most drugs can now be prescribed remotely, which is great for both you and our practices. This might be following on from a video or phone call regarding a change in your pet’s condition. However, this is at the vet’s discretion, as they need to be confident that:
The risk of misdiagnosis or unwanted harm is minimal; The risks to the patient and the owner from the medication are minimal; The patient is not suffering from a notifiable disease.
What has changed?
For certain medications, such as anti-parasitics (flea and worming treatment), specific pain killers, anti-seizure drugs, as well as antibiotics and antifungals, your vet is now required to do a physical exam of your pet at the same time as prescribing the medication.
If your pet has previously been set up on a repeat prescription, it might mean that you’ll be asked to come back sooner than expected so we can complete a physical examination of your pet and create a new prescription as per the RCVS guidelines.
If your pet is due for a vaccination at one of our practices and you know that you’ll want certain medication dispensing remotely, take the opportunity to inform the vet who can raise the prescription at the same time. This will save you having to come back for further visits.
Remember we don’t charge for our vet consultations, so if you do need to visit us, you will only need to pay for the dispensing and medicines on your prescription.
Antibiotics, Flea and Worming Treatment
The RCVS have included flea and worm treatments and antibiotics and antifungals in the controlled drug classification. This means that, to prescribe these products, the pet must be examined by a vet, who then selects the appropriate treatment and records what drugs they are permitted to have. Please ensure you inform your vet if you require flea and worming treatment when you attend your pet’s annual health check, as the prescription must be raised at the same time as the examination.
While repeat prescriptions are then permitted, if for any reason you or the vet want to change to a different medication, a re-examination and a new recorded prescription on the pet’s records will be necessary.