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Recommended Best Practices for Veterinary Prescriptions

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2022
14 pages

The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Training and Technical Assistance Center and the National Association of State Controlled Substances Authorities present recommended best practices for veterinary prescriptions.



As a robust public safety and healthcare management tool, PDMPs provide health professionals a patient’s comprehensive prescription history of controlled substances and other monitored drugs. PDMPs collect information on the prescribing and dispensing history of practitioners to patients, providing a complete picture in an accurate, timely, and secure manner. Compared to other practitioners, the extent of diversion and abuse of opioids, as well as other controlled substance medications intended for animals, have lacked significant research or documentation. Surveys that have targeted veterinarians, however, have shown high potential for abuse by animal owners and veterinarian staff. Findings of a relevant Colorado survey of veterinarians in 2014 is cited as an example. In 2021, the National Association of State Controlled Substance Authorities (NASCSA) requested PDMP TTAC to re-examine and expand upon the issues surrounding veterinarians and work jointly to explore and improve the recommended practices of the 2020 Veterinary Best Practice TAG. The PDMP TTAC/NASCSA work group that developed these Recommended Best Practices for Veterinary Prescriptions includes 14 recommendations intended to facilitate PDMPs in showing reporting issues of veterinary dispensing and prescribing drugs, identifying issues in such data in PDMP reports and queries, and developing recommendations for best practices on techniques and policies for PDMPs in monitoring drugs prescribed by veterinarians. Best practices are recommended for veterinarian registration for reporting prescription dispensations to their PDMP.

Date Published: January 1, 2022