At times, it becomes necessary to utilize prescription products to manage disease and control risk. There are many factors that our veterinarians must consider when developing a prescription. What is the intended use? what is the goal? Will it cause violative residues? is it legal? Federal law requires that veterinarians have a Valid-Client-Patient-Relationship before writing or dispensing prescriptions.

What is a VCPR? A “valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship” (valid VCPR), as defined in 21 CFR 530.3(i), is one in which: A veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health of (an) animal(s) and the need for medical treatment, and the client (the owner of the animal or animals or other caretaker) has agreed to follow the instructions of the veterinarian;

There is sufficient knowledge of the animal(s) by the veterinarian to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the animal(s); and The practicing veterinarian is readily available for follow-up in case of adverse reactions or failure of the regimen of therapy.

Such a relationship can exist only when the veterinarian has recently seen and is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the animal(s) by virtue of examination of the animal(s), and/or by medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal(s) are kept.

The best way to establish and maintain a VCPR is by developing and maintaining a herd plan with your veterinarian. Also, smaller producers usually find it more convenient to bring the patients to the hospital for examination. Both are reasonable options and allow for a proper and legal VCPR to be maintained.

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