Why Your Veterinarian May Send You to the Pharmacy

Some medications are not available for pick up at the vet

NORTH DAKOTA — Pet owners are being sent to the pharmacy instead of their vet to get medications

As of April 1st, the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy has enforced stricter laws when it comes to some medications.

Specifically, compound medications, or dispensing a drug in a different form.

“There was no allowance for the veterinarian previous to us creating this law that for them to dispense those office-use compounds to the patient,” said Mark Hardy, the executive director of the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy.

For veterinarians, this means that clients may have to pick up medications for their pet from a pharmacy.

Many prescriptions have to be changed for animals based on their size.

Examples of alterations include medications being changed into a liquid or flavored tablet.

“There is no way you can cut a 250 milligram tablet down to a 20 milligram for a small portion,” said Dr. Charly Stansbery with Red Barn Veterinary Services. “Compounded medications kind of serve those purposes.”

Regulations have always been in place.

The new law takes the precautions an extra step further.

“They basically want to safeguard people, pets, or other animals, livestock, etcetera,” said Dr. Stansbery. “Just make sure what’s being made for that pet is being made for that pet and not just compounded medication that’s been sitting in the cabinet.”

Dr. Stansbery said a pharmacy can ensure quality for your animal.

“Compounded medications in veterinary medicine are essential for us to operate,” said Dr. Stansbery. “We have fought for that for pet owners to make sure that their pets get the need when they need it.”

The North Dakota Board of Pharmacy does allow some exceptions for medications needed in immediate emergencies.

Veterinarian clinics can have up to a five day supply.

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