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Remote prescribing by vets to continue

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By Josh Loeb

Vets can continue prescribing prescription-only veterinary medicines (POM-Vs) remotely without first physically examining the animal – but must have arrangements in place to provide back-up care.

That was the decision of RCVS council on 8 October, following a heated debate on the issue.

Council members also voted to impose new checks and balances on an RCVS Covid-19 taskforce, a small group set up to take decisions quickly instead of waiting for committee or council decisions.

The developments followed mounting unease after temporary remote prescribing was first introduced by the Covid-19 taskforce in March. The provision was originally set to run until June, but it has been extended multiple times (see chronology, below).

Critics feared the door was being left ajar for vets to prescribe POM-Vs from afar without offering 24-hour back-up care.

Last week, the BVA also weighed in, querying why a measure brought in as a time-limited response to the first wave of Covid-19 had been rolled over time and again (see

The issue came to a head at the latest council meeting, when a gang of five council members– Jo Dyer, Neil Smith, Danny Chambers, Martin Peaty and Richard Stephenson – pressed for guidance to be amended to …

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