Veterinary groups contend with retail pharmacy issues - DVM
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Veterinary groups contend with retail pharmacy issues
AVMA, Oregon VMA look to open communication between veterinarians and pharmacists.


The OVMA has set out to work with the Oregon Board of Pharmacy (OBP) to educate pharmacists on the differences among human and veterinary prescriptions. The organization submitted an article that ran in the pharmacy board's August newsletter.

When the OVMA brought the problems to the attention of the pharmacy board, board representatives said they weren't aware of any problems. "They (the pharmacy board) have been pretty receptive to hearing our concerns," Kolb says. Presently, however, no complaints have been filed by veterinarians against pharmacists. "It would send a stronger message if something like that occurred."

Morgan agrees that communication is key. The associations want to get education and information out there for pharmacists and open a dialogue between the professions. "I think everyone has a role to play," she says. "There's communication between veterinarians and clients, veterinarians and pharmacists, and clients and pharmacists."

The AVMA says it wants what the pharmacy boards already formally require: that pharmacists ask questions if something is unfamiliar or unclear and to refer back to the veterinarian. When the OVMA asked the pharmacy board why pharmacists were advising clients on pet medications, the board responded that pharmacists are required to counsel clients. However, OVMA members tell Kolb they're not getting many calls from pharmacies.

Despite these challenges, with the upcoming FTC workshop and fledgling relationship between the OVMA and the OBP, the lines of communication are beginning to open. "The groups are having discussions," Morgan says. "The clients are at the heart of their concerns."

Ultimately, the AVMA wants to find ways to engage with the pharmacy community that don't include legislation. "There's going to constantly be, with nonveterinary retailers, issues that come up and we'll have to continue to be engaged with one another," Morgan says. "The two professional communities can work together to address issues as they come up without federal regulation."

The AVMA encourages veterinarians to report problems to their local veterinary medical associations and file formal complaints with their local pharmacy boards when appropriate.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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