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  1. Penny Watson
  1. Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road,
    Cambridge CB3 0ES
  1. e-mail: pjw36{at}

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AS a small animal physician trying to practise evidence-based veterinary medicine in a referral practice setting, I was very interested to read Mike Davies' letter on the control of off-label use of medicines (VR, June 30, 2012, vol 170, p 680). I agree completely that owners should be fully informed about the implications of off-label medicine use in their pet. It is very important that clinicians explain carefully the reasons for using them and the lack of evidence for efficacy and safety and that they ensure that owners sign a separate informed consent form each and every time they are dispensed. I also agree that it is very important for clinicians to report adverse reactions to these drugs. Mr Davies recommends that clinicians should be compelled to fully document each case of off-label use. I do not disagree with the sentiment, but wonder whether ‘compelled’ is too strong …

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