On 1st September 2023 our regulatory body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), introduced new guidance on the prescribing of certain veterinary medicines. Supply of POMs (Prescription Only Medicines) has always been tightly controlled, however, the new guidance redefines some of the rules.

Perhaps the biggest change for clients, involves the prescribing and supply of POM parasite control products. This includes various spot-on or oral products used to prevent or kill internal worms e.g. round worms or lung worm, and external parasites such as ticks, fleas or mites.

To be able to supply these products they must be specifically “prescribed” by a veterinary surgeon at the time of a physical examination ie a consultation. The vet must specify the product, strength, number of doses, dosing instructions and a date that the prescription expires, after which another in-person consultation will be required to prescribe any further medication.

Normally, this prescribing can be done at the time of an annual health check or at any other consultation involving a physical examination. However, if the pet changes weight significantly so that a change of product strength is required or if a change of parasiticide product is required then another examination would be required.

These rules affect the main anti-parasite medications we use, however, there are still some products which are not classed as POMs and therefore don’t have the same restrictions.

How will this affect me and my pet?

If your pet needs to have a POM parasite control product and it doesn’t have a valid, specific prescription from a previous consultation, then you’ll need to have a consultation with a vet who will be able to prescribe an appropriate POM parasite control product to dispense now. If your pet should require this product for future use, then they can specify this in the prescription for future dispensing up until the expiry date of the prescription.

If you have any queries about this or anything else then please get in touch via email or our messaging service PetsApp.