Events and Announcements
Antibiotics are coming off the shelves June 2023
2023 is bringing a BIG change to the agricultural community. In June of 2023 consumers will no longer be able to purchase over the counter antibiotics such as Penicillin, Terramycin, Oxytetracycline or Tylan. The FDA has mandated that all antibiotic use is to be under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. Obviously, this will bring big changes for all of us. Luckily this change is not going to heavily impact our current active client base, we’ve got you covered, you shouldn’t notice much difference. We are prepared to offer on farm/home/office appointments to fill any needs as necessary. With the help of telehealth and teleconsulting we can help with setting you up and monitoring treatments in an affordable way that will fit scheduling on both ends. Of course, not everything will be tele appropriate, but many things will be.
If we don’t have a valid Veterinary Client-Patient Relationship under the eyes of the law, this is where things get more tricky and less convenient for everyone involved. The FDA and American Veterinary Medical Association defines the qualifications of a VCPR and the State Veterinary Boards further impose restrictions and definitions of this agreement we all are legally bound to abide by. Here are some excerpts from the AVMA website about the VPCR:
“ Q: What is a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)?
A: A Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship, or VCPR for short, exists when your veterinarian knows your animal well enough to be able to diagnose and treat any medical conditions your animal develops. Your part of the VCPR is allowing your veterinarian to take responsibility for making clinical judgments about your pet's health, asking questions to make sure you understand, and following your veterinarian's instructions. Your veterinarian's part of the VCPR involves making those judgments; accepting the responsibility for providing your animal with medical care; keeping a written record of your pet's medical care; advising you about the benefits and risks of different treatment options; providing oversight of treatment, compliance (your follow-through on their recommendations) and outcome; and helping you know how to get emergency care for your animal if the need should arise.
Q: How is a VCPR established and maintained?
A: A VCPR is established only when your veterinarian examines your animal in person, and is maintained by regular veterinary visits as needed to monitor your animal's health. If a VCPR is established but your veterinarian does not regularly see your pet afterward, the VCPR is no longer valid and it would be illegal and unethical for your veterinarian to dispense or prescribe medications or recommend treatment without recently examining your pet.
A valid VCPR cannot be established online, via email, or over the phone. However, once a VCPR is established, it may be able to be maintained between medically necessary examinations via telephone or other types of consultations; but it's up to your veterinarian’s discretion to determine if this is appropriate and in the best interests of your animals’ health. ”
Hopefully that helps clear up what a VCPR is and why it is crucial to the future access to antibiotics for all the creatures.
At this point many of you are wondering why this legislation is happening. Great question, it is multi-factorial.
Firstly, protection of the vital food supply for our country has been on the forefront of our governments mind. Many people don’t seem to understand things like withdrawal periods, expiration dates, storage and handling, species specific dosing, contraindications or that viruses cannot be cured by antibiotics. This has led to food being contaminated with antibiotics which has unfortunately proven deadly as well as costly. Nobody wants eggs from the farmers market laced with Enrofloxacin powder purchased from the sketchydrugs.com or steaks loaded with penicillin residues. Both scenarios are true scenarios in case you were wondering.
Secondly, inappropriate use of antibiotics has been shown to contribute significantly to the ever-growing problem of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance (antimicrobial resistance) happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. That means the germs are not killed and continue to grow. Resistant infections can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to treat. This is real, we see this almost daily here in this practice area.
We know many of you are smart, intelligent, responsible people capable of many things. We all also know people have different knowledge bases and skill levels. Therefore we don’t ask the mailman to install our plumbing or the people who stand in the median strip at the Biddeford 95 exit for dental consultations.