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Questions & Answers

Which medicines can I order without a prescription from my vet and which require a prescription?

Any medicines with the letters POM-V clearly displayed on the packaging or label need a prescription from your vet before Veterinary Drugs To Go can supply them. All other medicines can be purchased direct from us without a prescription. If in doubt give us a call and we will advise.

Why are medicines from Veterinary Drugs to Go so much cheaper than they are from my vet?

Veterinary Drugs To Go has been deliberately set up as a low cost operation with systems designed to minimise costs allowing us to work on tight margins.

Are the products supplied by Veterinary Drugs To Go any different from those I am used to buying?

NO! All products dispensed by Veterinary Drugs To Go are fully compliant with UK legislation and purchased in Britain from the Authorisation Holder, or their distributor. Check our packs, they carry the UK marketing symbols: POM-V, POM-VPS, NFA-VPS, or AVM-GSL ; the marketing authorisation code, Vm0000/0000; expiry dates; and batch numbers.

Can my vet refuse to prescribe?

Not if the vet would be prepared to supply the medicines to you him/herself ! The rules are quite clear in this area and state that a vet can only prescribe for animals under his/her care and must have sufficient knowledge of the animals before prescribing. If the vet would be prepared to supply medicines to you on request, he/she cannot refuse to supply you with a prescription.

Can my vet insist on extra visits and examination fees before issuing a prescription?

Absolutely not. The vets’ governing body, The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, has made it clear that any medicines which your vet is happy to supply to you without visits and examinations should also be made available by issuing a prescription.

Can my vet charge for the prescription?

Since October 2005 the law says all prescriptions must be made available free of charge. But from October 2009 prescription charges can be made but only if reasonable. The government wishes to be made aware if excessive levies are made and we will be happy to collect this info and pass it on.

Is there any limit on the quantity of medicine I can ask to be prescribed?

It is not good practice to carry excess medicine stocks and most vets would normally only supply enough medicine for a month at a time. You can ask your vet, however, to add the words “repeat five times” to the prescription and this would allow you to obtain another month’s supply on five further occasions – in other words one prescription can be used for six months supply.

Can one prescription be for more than one product?

Yes. Legally a single prescription can cover as many items as required.

Does a vet have to use a special form?

No. There are certain details which must appear on a prescription and all vets have been trained in this. We have supplied a pro forma but this does not have to be used. Since October 2005 the prescription MUST contain precise dosage instructions.

How do you prevent fraud and make sure that any prescription is from a qualified vet?

Veterinary Drugs To Go must ensure that prescriptions have been issued by a qualified vet and whenever there is any doubt we will contact the vet who signed it to validate the prescription.

My vet says if I insist on him writing a prescription his fees will go up – is this true?

Possibly this may be true but the effect is likely to be limited. The new legislation bans a vet from charging higher fees where a prescription is required as opposed to where the vet supplies the medicine him/herself so vets cannot discriminate against those clients asking for a prescription. We find that, in virtually every case, the cost saving on the medicines more than outweighs any increase in fees.

What can I do if I think my vet is being unreasonable over the way he responds to my request for a prescription?

You should discuss your problem with a senior member of the practice and try to resolve the problem locally but if all else fails you can consult the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in London for advice. Despite its title the Royal College is there to protect the interests of the consumer.