RCVS to end remote prescribing of drugs
The dispensation was brought in at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and extended a number of times thereafter, to allow vets to prescribe remotely under strict conditions.
Its aim was to safeguard animal health and welfare, the health and safety of the vet team and allow prescriptions to be made by vets without first examining the animal.
The RCVS standards committee has now decided to end the dispensation from midnight on Sunday 21 November, giving practices plenty of time top change their protocols and policies.
The moves come just week after the BVA wrote to the RCVS to raise concerns over the regulator’s decision to extend the measures.
In a letter, the BVA questioned why the temporary guidance appears to be becoming “part of the new normal” over 18 months on since the first UK lockdown, and urged RCVS to share information on the evidence base that informed the extension, as well as the exit strategy.
Melissa Donald, RCVS junior vice-president and chair of the standards committee, said: “Due to a number of factors, including evidence that there has been a decline in the amount of remote prescriptions taking place, the committee took the decision to end the dispensation, albeit with a three-week extension period to allow those practices that are still prescribing remotely to change their policies, inform their clients and so on.
“While the dispensation is ending, it is worth noting that it will still be kept under review in light of any changes in the circumstances around the pandemic, including Government advice and regulations.”