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Can the Doctor Just Fill a Prescription?

by Clinton Cotten, DVM

This is a very common question that our receptionists and technicians answer every day. More than ninety-five percent of the time the answer is NO. And no, the doctor is not just being mean!

There are many reasons why a prescription cannot be filled or refilled. Hospital policy, which is dictated by state laws, determine if a prescription can be filled or refilled. Florida state law requires a client-patient-veterinary relationship. This means a veterinarian must examine your pet at least once a year before a prescription can be written or filled. A pet that has not been seen recently for a specific problem, or is overdue for chronic disease testing will be declined a prescription or refill.

DEA controlled substances cannot be refilled by a doctor that has not seen your pet, and some controlled substances need the pet to be seen as often as every 6 months.

In a multi-doctor practice like Boyette Animal Hospital, it's worthwhile for you to have a patient-veterinary relationship with more than one doctor. You never know when your vet may be sick, on vacation, or otherwise not available.

There are also several flea and tick products that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and require a prescription. These products can not be sold without the patient-doctor relationship.

While we always recommend a thorough pet examination at least once a year for general health, you can see that it's also important for those needing prescriptions to keep their pet happy and healthy.

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