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Veterinary Obligations Related to Drugs

Status: Closed
Feedback Deadline: May 27, 2018

Over the past three years, draft standards outlining the practice expectations of a veterinarian related to prescribing and dispensing drugs, inclusive of antimicrobials, has been debated and considered by a Prescribing and Dispensing Working Group, whose establishment was directed by Council due to the College’s limited information on these important, high-risk activities. Throughout the process these drafts have been informed by new federal rules strengthening veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use, and multiple discussions with varied stakeholders on the realities of day-to-day veterinary practice. The aim of the standards is to demonstrate the importance of these activities to the public and to the profession by recognizing the inherent risks posed by drugs to animal and public health.

At its March 2018 meeting, Council was pleased to approve a series of draft Professional Practice Standards inclusive of prescribing, dispensing, extra-label drug use and compounding, which set out current and existing practice expectations for veterinarians across all species. 

With the privilege that veterinarians have to both prescribe and dispense drugs comes a great responsibility to do so in accordance with the standards of practice of the profession. The importance of the role of veterinarians to both society and animals in the prescribing and dispensing of pharmaceuticals cannot by overemphasized.  As these are distinct skill sets, which can also be performed separately, distinct standards have been prepared to highlight the different accountabilities and responsibilities.

These documents align with Health Canada’s direction that all antimicrobials approved for veterinary use be sold by prescription only. 

The perspective of the public and of the profession is key to completing this work.

This consultation is now closed.

Consultation Summaries:

Prescribing a Drug

Dispensing a Drug

Extra-Label Drug Use

Use of Compounded Drugs in Veterinary Practice