American College of Veterinary Pharmacists

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Does my veterinarian have to provide me with a prescription?

Section 26 of the regulations to the Ontario Veterinarians Act states:

26. If a member decides to treat an animal with a drug and either does not dispense it or is asked by the owner for a prescription, the member shall give a written prescription to the owner or offer to give an oral prescription acceptable to the owner to a pharmacist or to another veterinarian in accordance with subsection 33 (1.1).

The College of Veterinarians has determined:

Where a client requests a prescription, rather than purchase a drug directly from the veterinarian, the veterinarian is obligated to comply with this request. However, the College believes that this regulation limits veterinarians to prescribing to a pharmacist in Ontario, and it is not appropriate to authorize a prescription from an Internet pharmacy.

The veterinarians responsibility is to offer to give an oral prescription to a pharmacist within the jurisdiction the veterinarian is located or, if this is not acceptable to the client, to give the client a written prescription. It is permissible for the veterinarian to charge a reasonable fee for this prescription.

The client is then free to choose how they fill the prescription. If the client chooses to attempt to have it filled by an out-of-province pharmacist, that is neither the veterinarians responsibility, nor the veterinarians concern. The veterinarian has simply fulfilled his or her obligation under the legislation.