Edgewood Vets’ summary of the updated RCVS prescribing guidelines

January 19, 2024

We are now implementing new guidance, from our governing body (the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons), which affects the prescribing of medicines.

The new guidance, that came into effect on 1st September, states that Vets must now undertake a physical examination of every pet before we can prescribe any antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral or anti-parasitic treatment.


How will this affect you?

Below, our head vet Jürgen outlines the effect of the new regulations.  If you read their review and have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 01621 828381.


Prescribing prescription medications

The new regulations state that a physical examination of every pet must take place before any antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral or anti-parasitic treatment can be prescribed.  That means that your pet must be seen by one of our vets if we suspect that they have conditions like …

  • Eye or ear infections
  • Long-term skin conditions where antibiotics are required
  • Suspected urinary tract infections
  • Gastrointestinal upsets that may require antibiotic treatment
  • We / you decide to change from one flea / worm /tick product to another

Our vets will make the relevant notes to allow us to dispense those specific flea and worm treatments for 12 months from the date of the initial consultation. We can dispense either 3 or 6 months’ worth of flea and worm treatment in one go. For flea and worm treatments you will need to request repeat prescriptions over the following 12 months via our repeat prescription service, either via telephone or via our website. In most cases, an annual examination at the time of your pet’s vaccination should be adequate for flea and worm treatment. Should you wish to change this treatment during the 12-month period, a repeat physical examination by one of our vets will be required.

The change in the Code of Conduct means that you may be asked to bring your pet in more regularly for check-ups to allow us to abide by this new guidance. The guidance is an important step towards ensuring responsible use and reducing the veterinary impact on the wider issues of global antibiotic resistance and decline of insect populations.

Due to the increased number of vet consultations that will be required to satisfy the RCVS guidelines for prescribing flea and worm products, we are unable to sustain free-of-charge consultations. We have now introduced a reduced flea and worm consultation charge to allow clients to purchase proven and efficacious flea and worm products.


The new RCVS regulations

The RCVS have published a detailed article that explains the full extent of the new regulations and you can read it here.

Read the RCVS guidance


Independent vets best practice in Essex

We believe that the changes to the prescribing regulations were inevitable and are essential, as they are designed to address the rise in resistance to and environmental impact of the uncontrolled use of certain medicines, such as antibiotics.

However, in a world that’s already facing a cost-of-living crisis, we do understand that the new regulations may not be welcomed by some, as in certain circumstances they may drive an increase in care costs for your pet.

We want you to know that as a local independent veterinary practice we remain committed to offering our clients transparency, choice and value.


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