Veterinarians Must Obey Drug Laws 

Veterinarians Must Obey Drug Laws 
Posted by FoM on October 07, 1999 at 07:52:31 PT
Dr. Chris Duke 
Source: Sun Herald Online
A question was recently posed to me by a client, "Why must I have a pet seen for the ailment I described? Can't you just dispense me the pills?" 
Certainly, veterinarians have compassion and want to help, but just guessing can have its drawbacks. To compound this particular situation, the client asked me for the siezural control medication Phenobarbital, which is a controlled substance. Just as in the human medical realm, veterinarians must be accountable to the DEA for their use of controlled substances. Believe me, we are not punishing pet owners by asking to have a client record and pet treatment relationship. This premise is mandated by federal law. Every cc (ml) of injectable and every tablet of these scheduled drugs must be accounted for once they are sold to the practicing veterinarian. In recent years, more drugs have been moved into the Schedule I-V categories due to their abuse potential in improper hands. In addition, the DEA has asked all veterinarians to keep logs of all Scheduled drugs all the time - not just the Schedule I-II drugs, which was acceptable for a time. Consider these rules a reaction to the war on illicit use of drugs that has continued to plague our country in the late 20th century. All veterinarians now must apply for a three-year license with the DEA in order to use or prescribe Scheduled drugs. These drugs are as benign as Lo-Motil, used for canine diarrhea, and the aforementioned Phenobarbital, which at low one or two-pill doses is very safe. Yet, the abuse potential for pain relievers, anti-anxiety drugs such as Valium and strong sedatives and anesthetic agents, which may impact pest or humans with potentially lethal effects, must be respected. Once again, please understand that your pet's veterinarian is not creating a step of inconvenience for you when questions are asked prior to dispensing drugs or providing refills. As professionals we are asked to comply with the law of the land, lest our licenses and DEA permits be revoked for lack of compliance. Some of our colleagues have had stiff fines imposed as well. Your pet's veterinarian will be helpful in every way possible to provide good, personable pet care. Dr. Chris Duke is a veterinarian at Bienville Animal Medical Center in Ocean Springs. His column and other contributions to Your Pet's Doctor are coordinated by The Sun Herald. Questions for this column are encouraged. Write to South Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association, 20005 Pineville Road, Long Beach MS 39560 and include a self-addressed stamped envelope.Pubdate: October 7, 1999 1999 The Sun Herald.
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