Technical advice: Authorising between clinics

13 October 2021

Technical advice is our interpretation of how professional standards apply in a particular situation. It is designed to help veterinarians deal with common issues in practice, using their professional judgement to apply the advice to their own situation. It represents our best efforts at the time of publication but standards and expectations change over time and particular care should be used when reading old advice.

We sometimes get clients from one of our other clinics but from the same business wanting to collect medications from us because ‘they cannot get to their regular clinic’ or they are nearer to us. Is it appropriate for me to dispense restricted veterinary medicines in this situation?

It would be inappropriate for a veterinarian to dispense restricted veterinary medicines (RVMs) authorised by another veterinarian not in the same practice location as themselves unless in an emergency one-off situation as outlined in the Code (Veterinary Medicines, section 11), or if they are an MPI Approved Seller.

However, the veterinarian may, using their professional judgement, authorise an RVM for a patient if they are satisfied that they have sufficient information to support it.

We take this to mean that a veterinarian can authorise and then dispense an RVM for a patient that has been seen by another veterinarian in a different physical location but from the same business entity. They would need to be able to justify their decision and considerations would include (note this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Whether there is sufficient information on the patient’s clinical record from the other vet clinic
  • Whether the patient was seen recently enough by the veterinarian at the other clinic
  • Whether there are sufficient instructions on the clinical record at the other clinic regarding a treatment plan
  • Whether they are satisfied, through their own investigation, about the current health and wellbeing of the patient and their needs.