Supply of prescription drugs | Orange Veterinary Hospital

Supply of prescription drugs

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Orange Veterinary Hospital
57 Molong Rd
NSW 2800

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02 6361 8388
02 6362 3970

Molong Veterinary Clinic
89 Bank St
New South Wales 2866

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02 6366 9021

February 2016


To our valued Large Animal Clients 

Supply of Prescription Medications

At Orange Vet Hospital, we take pride in providing you and your animals with high quality, professional veterinary service.  As a valued client, we would like to inform you of some legal requirements relating to the supply of prescription medications for farm animals (Veterinary Practices Act, 2003 & Controlled Substances Act 1984).

The veterinary industry is coming under increasing scrutiny on a number of issues, foremost of which is the supply of prescription medications (e.g. antibiotics, sedation) to farm animals.  As such, we have updated our clinic policies to reflect our commitment to upholding the reputation of the industry and to also meet our legal requirements.

In 2005, the Australian Veterinary Association released a Prescribing, Authorising and Dispensing Checklist as a guide to all veterinarians in the use of prescription medications.  The checklist outlines certain criteria that must be met before a veterinarian can sell, supply, prescribe or administer medication to any animal, namely:

  • You (the client) must be a bona fide (genuine) client of the clinic,
  • The vet should have current knowledge of the management, health status and drug status of the animal(s),
  • There must be a therapeutic or prophylactic (preventive) need for the use and/supply of the drug,
  • The vet has followed the requirements of the drugs and poisons and control-of-use legislation in their state/territory (see below),
  • The vet is confident the client understands their instructions regarding the use and storage (and where appropriate, identification of treated animals and relevant withholding restrictions) of this drug, and is able to use it properly and safely.
  • The amount prescribed/dispensed is reasonable for treatment of the condition for which they have documented the therapeutic need.
  • If the drug is an antibiotic, they have considered the expected infectious agent, spectrum of activity of the drug and implications of antimicrobial resistance.

The New South Wales Veterinary Practice Legislation 2013 released by the NSW Government states:

  1. A veterinary practitioner may supply restricted substances only:
    1. to a person responsible for the care of an animal that the veterinary practitioner has physically examined or has under his or her direct care, and only in respect of that animal, or
    2. to a person responsible for the care of an animal, with the written authority of another veterinary practitioner who has physically examined the animal concerned or has it under his or her direct care, and only in respect of that animal.

So how do these guidelines affect you?

One of the key points in the check list is ensuring you are a “bona fide” client of our veterinary practice.  The Veterinary Practitioners Board of NSW interpretation of this means that we need to have visited your property within the past 12 months.  If you are requesting medication for sheep (e.g. ram sedation) or cattle (e.g. penicillin), we need to have seen your animals within that time period.

Documentation of medications is another area you may notice change. 

Certain medications (e.g. ram sedation) have specific forms to be filled out by you and the veterinarian. 

But what if your animals don’t need a vet every year?

If we have not visited your property in the past 12 months, we cannot legally supply you with ANY prescription medications. 

In this instance, if you have an animal requiring medication, you can either arrange a farm visit with one of our vets, or you may be able to bring the animal(s) into the clinic for assessment and treatment (e.g. sick calves).

If you have not had a vet visit recently, and have no sick animals, we can arrange to do a Medication Compliance Visit for a discounted consultation price of $65 + travel to help fulfil the requirements of you being a “bona fide” client. This visit will necessarily involve observation of your animals at close quarters. So to make it simple, ideally our visit would occur when sheep and cattle are already yarded for routine management such as drenching, shearing etc.  Given enough notice, we may also be able to arrange this visit to coincide with another farm visit in your area to help share or even negate travel costs.

We realise these legislative requirements are not necessarily convenient, and indeed in many cases seem 'ridiculous' when you have been a long standing client of the clinic, however please understand we have a legal obligation to uphold these regulations.  We are happy to discuss this issue with you and if you have any questions, please call the clinic on 02 6361 8388.

Kind Regards,

Andrew Litchfield, John Mason, Genevieve Payne                                   

Orange Vet Hospital 



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