The RCVS Standards Committee has ended the temporary dispensation that allows veterinary surgeons to prescribe prescription-only veterinary medicines remotely from this morning.

The dispensation was brought in during the spring 2020 lockdown to safeguard animal health and welfare, the health & safety of the veterinary team, and public health, by allowing prescriptions to be made by veterinary surgeons without having first physically examined the animal.

Since it was brought in, the temporary dispensation has been under constant review and, in September, was extended to midnight on Sunday 31st October 2021.

Last week, the Standards Committee met and decided to end the dispensation, although it has put back the end date for the guidance to midnight on Sunday 21 November to allow sufficient time for veterinary practices to change their protocols and policies accordingly.

Melissa Donald, RCVS Junior Vice-President and Chair of the Standards Committee, said: “Due to a number of factors, including evidence that there has been a decline in the amount of remote prescriptions taking place, the Committee took the decision to end the dispensation, albeit with a three-week extension period to allow those practices that are still prescribing remotely to change their policies, inform their clients and so on.

“While the dispensation is ending, it is worth noting that it will still be kept under review in light of any changes in the circumstances around the pandemic, including government advice and regulations.”

The full details about the temporary dispensation can be found at:

Those with any questions about the guidance should contact the RCVS Standards & Advice Team on or 020 7202 0789.

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