Beware of prescribing pitfalls

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Do you occasionally run out of a medication and send a client to another practice for a prescription drug? If so, you may be encouraging that veterinarian to break the law, depending on the state where you live.

A veterinarian who dispenses a drug without a client-patient relationship may be acting outside the scope of veterinary medicine. Some states have regulations that prohibit a veterinarian from filling another veterinarian's prescription, asserting that only registered pharmacists can do so.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, in other states, some veterinarians have established businesses that fill prescriptions for veterinarians around the country.

Before filling any such prescriptions, veterinarians should check with their state veterinary medical association about local regulations or directly contact their state board of veterinary medicine and board of pharmacy.