Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Dispensing (USA)


Legal requirements

  • As the law stands a veterinary surgeon must write a prescription to have a POM-V, POM-VPS veterinary medicinal product dispensed by a pharmacist or dispense the veterinary medicine themselves (in which case they are deemed to have prescribed the medicine) but only for an animal(s) deemed to be "under his/her care". This "care" must be real and not nominal.
  • All dispensed medicines must be correctly labeled.

The label should use mechanically printed lettering.

  • Specific legal requirements for information to be included on labels are:
    • Name, address and telephone number of the veterinary surgeon or pharmacy supplying the medication.
    • The name of the veterinary surgeon prescribing it.
    • Name and address of the owner or keeper of the animal for whom the medication is to be dispensed (or the premises where the animal is kept if different from that of the owner).
    • The identification of the animal or group of animals. 
    • Date of supply.
    • Expiry date if applicable.
    • The name or description of the product which should include the quantity of active ingredient(s).
    • Dosage and administration instructions.
    • Any special storage precautions.
    • Any necessary warnings for the user, target species, administration or disposal of the product.
    • The words 'For animal treatment only'.
    • The words 'Keep out of the sight and reach of children'.
    • The words 'For external use' or 'not to be taken internally' for topical preparations.

It is preferable for a label to be printed or must be written in indelible ink.

Labels for medication to be used in food producing animals must include the relevant withdrawal period, even if there is none.

Other important points

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Snell M (2007) Ed. Medicines, Ethics and Practice: a Guide for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians. 31st edn. Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. ISBN: 0853697442.
  • Bishop Y (2005) The Veterinary Formulary. 6th edn. Pharmaceutical Press in Association with BVA (including the BVACode of Practice on Medicines). ISBN: 0853695792.
  • Tennant B (2005) BSAVA Small Animal Formulary. 5th edn. British Small Animal Veterinary Association. ISBN: 0905214889.