Like humans, animals also suffer from health conditions. More often than not, these conditions need the proper medical intervention prescribed by a veterinarian. Though there might be similarities between prescription drugs consumed by humans and those consumed by animals (e.g. vitamin supplements), it would be inappropriate for humans to consume veterinary-prescribed medicine and vice-versa.
That is why the proper labels of veterinary prescription drugs are necessary. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a guideline to help veterinarians take note of their drug prescriptions.
Guidelines for veterinary prescription drugs:
1. Proper Label
The phrase: “Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian” is a government requirement and should be present in all veterinary prescription drugs. This is included under Section 503 (f) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. There are companies, such as Positive Impressions, LLC, which provide other specialized veterinary prescription labels that stand out and don’t wear off when exposed to the elements.
The veterinarian should maintain written records and document the drugs used for the duration of the treatment for at least two years. Records should include the information set by the Basic Information for Records, Prescription, and Labels.
The veterinarian is responsible for dispensing the right quantity needed for the treatment of animals. Thus, he or she should, by all means, avoid the unlimited dispensing of drugs.
Veterinarians also have the responsibility to store prescription drugs properly, especially before they sold or dispensed of the drugs. Only lawfully practicing firms or persons should possess these drugs. Only firms and individuals authorized by the state or local government can distribute these drugs, as well.
The name and address of the veterinarian, the name and active ingredients of the drug, the type of animals to be treated by the drug, proper consumption and dosage instructions, as well as precautions, should be present at all times.
The responsibility of proper drug consumption lies in the hands of both the veterinarian and the pet owner. Awareness of and compliance with these regulations are much needed to avoid the consequences.