The emergence of Internet pharmacies has drawn attention to the laws and regulations that govern the prescribing, dispensing, purchasing, and importing of drugs and controlled substances.
In December, new information was posted on the AVMA home page (www.avma.org) about resources that AVMA members can access on the AVMA Web site. These new resources address prescribing and dispensing in veterinary practice. They include frequently asked questions, an issue brief, a position statement, a white paper on rogue Internet pharmacies, and a pharmacy complaint form to print out and fax or mail. Other AVMA resources and related links are provided.
When it comes to the handling and dispensing of veterinary prescription drugs, veterinarians must be aware of the pertinent Food and Drug Administration regulations as well as their state veterinary practice and pharmacy acts.
A helpful booklet titled "FDA and the Veterinarian" explains the FDA regulations relating to veterinary prescription drugs and serves as an information source for veterinarians on activities at the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine. Free single or multiple copies are available from the AVMA by calling (800) 248-2862, ext. 289 or writing the AVMA, Attn. FDA Booklet, 1931 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173.
Veterinarians seeking information on state prescribing and dispensing requirements may contact their state board of veterinary medicine and board of pharmacy to obtain copies of their veterinary practice act, pharmacy act, and related regulations.
The AVMA Directory & Resource Manual includes a listing of state boards of veterinary medicine. Online, the American Association of Veterinary State Boards' Web site, www.aavsb.org, provides contact information on these boards. State veterinary medical associations also offer useful resources in this area.
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy provides the topics of pharmacy practice acts and the board of pharmacy regulations for each state on its Web site, www.nabp.net, under the section on Pharmacy Law.