Ballinger Equine is authorised by the UK Government Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) to supply prescription-only medicines, category V, (POM-V). We may also provide our registered clients with a prescription to obtain the prescribed medicines from other veterinary surgeons or pharmacies. The issuing of prescriptions is tightly regulated to prevent fraud and to safeguard animal health.
VMD and RCVS regulations
We issue prescriptions in strict accordance with VMD regulations and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons – Supporting Guidance.
In accordance with the regulations, our veterinary surgeons may only prescribe POM-Vs for animals under our care. To be considered ‘under our care’ means that we will have seen and examined the animal within the past six months and be familiar and up-to-date with its general health and condition. A prescription may not be appropriate if immediate treatment is necessary.
For horses, ponies or donkeys requiring repeat prescriptions, the VMD stipulates examination at least every 6 months and in some cases more frequent examinations may be necessary. Fees for re-examination are charged and estimates for such charges are available upon request from our practice manager. Information on the price of any medication is also available upon request. Once it has been written and signed by the issuing veterinary surgeon, the prescription will be forwarded directly by our practice manager to the pharmacy from which the medicinal product is to be obtained.
Reporting prescription misuse
Animal welfare is our priority and suspected prescription misuse (which could include an alteration to an existing prescription or prescription fraud) will always be reported to the VMD. Making such a report will, in most cases, require a veterinary surgeon to release confidential information about their client to the VMD. The RCVS considers that reporting cases of prescription misuse is in the public interest and in most cases a report to the VMD will be considered a justified breach of client confidentiality. In addition, such a report would be within the scope of GDPR as this allows personal data to be processed where it is necessary for the purposes of a legitimate interest, and in most cases it seems improbable that this would be overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual concerned.
Please do not pressure our veterinary surgeons or office staff to issue prescriptions when to do so would be in breach of VMD regulations and our Code of Professional Conduct. A veterinary visit and examination will always be in the interest of your horse or pony’s wellbeing and our refusal to issue a prescription without an examination when one is necessary, might cause embarrassment. Ballinger Equine fully supports and rigorously enforces VMD regulations and the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct.