State and local pharmacy and vaccination issues


  • Compounding, AVMA position on
    Compounding is the manipulation of a drug, other than in accordance with the FDA approved label, to make a different formulation of the drug to meet the needs of a specific patient.

Compounding allows a veterinarian to tailor a therapy for a specific patient's need. Veterinarians should know and understand the rules of compounding so they can make sound judgments.

Summary report

Internet pharmacies

  • Internet pharmacies, AVMA position on the following recommendations are offered as a guide to prescribing and client purchases.
  • Frequently asked questions
    With the recent emergence of Internet pharmacies, many pet owners have questions regarding their safety and credibility. The AVMA appreciates the rising cost of health care for pets as well as humans, but cautions pet owners to be aware of the risks that may be involved. 

National Provider Identifier Number (NPI)

Some pharmacies ask prescribing veterinarians for their Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration numbers, even for non-controlled substance prescriptions. Veterinarians want to know whether they should be giving out their DEA registration number, and whether they need an “NPI” number to prescribe, or whether they can just give their state veterinary license number?


Summary report

Laws that specifically address whether or not a veterinarian is required to provide a written prescription at the request of his or her client.

  • Pharmacy board regulation of veterinary prescription drugs
    Laws governing state pharmacy boards' authority to regulate the sale of veterinary prescription drugs sold by non-veterinarians.
  • VCPR requirement for prescriptions and other treatment
    Summary of VCPR rules in each state, including states where rules incorporate the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics, which indicate it is unethical for a veterinarian to write a prescription or dispense a prescription drug outside a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs)
    State laws and regulations addressing the extent to which veterinarians are required to participate in a prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), including requirements for reporting and searching state PDMP databases if applicable
  • Veterinary prescription drugs, Guidelines for the AVMA has prepared the following guidelines as a resource regarding the use and distribution of veterinary prescription drugs.
  • Racehorse medications, AVMA policy the AVMA endorses the American Association of Equine Practitioners' policy on therapeutic medications in racehorses.
  • Complaint form for prescribing or dispensing
    The AVMA developed this form to facilitate the reporting of complaints in response to veterinarians’ concerns with some pharmacies whose practices appear to be contrary to FDA and other regulations and inconsistent with best patient care.


  • Administration of rabies vaccination
    This is a compilation of state laws governing the administration of rabies vaccination.
  • Vaccination principles
    Medical decisions about vaccine selection and protocols have become more complex. Selecting vaccine products and recommending vaccine programs are among the most complicated of medical decisions facing the veterinarian.

Related resources

Working with pharmacies