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New medicines legislation - what you need to know and do

4 November 2005

It's all change on the medicines front, with three separate pieces of new regulation coming into force over the last few days.

To help veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses understand what they now need to know and do, we have provided a range of advice and information on RCVSonline and in RCVS News (November 2005).

In summary, the following checklist should help veterinary practices stay within the law:

  • Put together the information which must be provided to clients in writing
  • Put up a sign or signs in waiting rooms
  • Make prescriptions available and stop charging for them
  • Adjust other fees accordingly - but avoid discriminating between clients who take prescriptions and those who don't. 
  • Record the date on which a batch of veterinary medicinal products is first used
  • Keep records of products supplied on prescription for 5 years
  • Provide itemised invoices
  • Decide whether the practice will supply veterinary medicinal products prescribed by other veterinary surgeons

The changes to the RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct to implement some of the Competition Commission's receommendations have now been incorporated into the online Guide. These are summarised on the new medicines legislation page.

An at a glance table was published in RCVS News (November 2005) which sets out the key points of the new veterinary medicines regulations, the new supply of relevent medicinal products order and the new RCVS guidance. This is also available on the new medicines legislation page.

Finally, a list of questions and answers designed to provide additional information for veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and the animal-owning public has also been published on RCVSonline.

If any member is unsure about any aspect of the new guidance, they are urged to contact the RCVS Professional Conduct Department for further guidance and advice (020 7202 0789 or

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