Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The Veterinary Medicines Regulations do not make it an offence for a vet to accept veterinary medicines back from a client nor to re-dispense them.  It's for the veterinary surgeon to decide whether it is appropriate to re-dispense a product if it has left the surgery and been returned.  However the VMD's view is that because  it's difficult to verify that the product has been stored in accordance with its SPC, and inappropriate storage/ treatment of the VMP may compromise its safety/ efficacy,  a vet should not generally accept back dispensed medicines. If they do they should treat them as pharmaceutical waste and dispose of them. 

However, if a vet is absolutely satisfied that the product's efficacy has not been compromised whilst in the client's possession, they could in our view re-dispense returned medicines. The vet should carry out an assessment of the product and the circumstances of the supply - e.g. the return of a non-cold chain product, that was supplied in its authorised, unopened packaging, within 30 minutes of a client leaving the surgery is very different to accepting return of a half used bottle of tablets a week after dispensing the product. However, we consider re-dispensing of returned medicines to be an exception rather than the norm.

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