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In 2013, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) began work to modernize the Veterinarians Act (VA) as few amendments have been made since its proclamation in 1990. Subsequently, a broad research and consultation resulted in, Achieving a Modern Approach to the Regulation of Veterinary Medicine in Ontario, a report proposing 19 amendments that were approved by CVO’s Council at its December 2017 meeting. The amendments have since been shared with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) for review.
In Ontario, both veterinarians and pharmacists are involved in dispensing, compounding and selling of drugs for animals, creating an overlap within scopes of practice. As CVO works to modernize the VA, there is recognition of the need to ensure that pharmacists can continue the longstanding practice of dispensing, compounding and selling medication to animal owners. However, the changes being considered would prevent pharmacists from prescribing, adapting any drug or substance to or for an animal. The rationale for this is that animal toxicity is different than human, making pharmacist interpretations and recommendations beyond a veterinary prescription a significant risk to animals.
The Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) is seeking feedback regarding the changes to the VA that impact the pharmacy profession. This will inform a productive dialogue between OCP and CVO with a shared goal of public safety and risk reduction in care delivery. Results of the consultation will be provided to CVO to inform its work.
Question to Guide Your Feedback:
Do the proposed modifications to the Act adequately and appropriately address the risks associated with the involvement of pharmacists with veterinary prescriptions?