Since May 1, 2010, Alberta veterinarians have been required to adhere to all requirements of the Triplicate Prescription Program. Like physicians and dentists, veterinarians must use a triplicate prescription pad when writing prescriptions for all drugs on the current TPP medication list.
There are proposed changes regarding the addition of specific medications prescribed by veterinarians, dispensed by veterinary clinics, and dispensed by pharmacists. The proposed changes are not officially part of the TPP program yet. However, the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) has made these proposed changes mandatory for all veterinarians at this time.
The list of additional medications that are mandatory for vets, but not currently on the TPP list are:
- All barbiturate preparations (Phenobarbital, etc.)
- All codeine containing preparations
- Anabolic steroids
How should pharmacists handle a prescription for a drug that is not on the current TPP medication list but is prescribed using a triplicate prescription pad?
Pharmacists are required to treat TPPs from veterinarians as they would those from any other TPP prescriber, and to apply the same TPP rules to drugs that the veterinarians have been directed by the ABVMA to prescribe using the triplicate prescription pad. This includes all drugs on the approved TPP medication list as well as drugs that are not currently on the TPP medication list but are on the ABVMA additional list.
According to the existing TPP rules, pharmacists may dispense a drug that is prescribed using a triplicate prescription pad even if it is not currently on the TPP medication list after assessing the prescription according to the Standards for Pharmacist Practice. There may be safety reasons that influence a prescriber’s decision to use a triplicate prescription pad to write a prescription for a drug that is not on the current TPP medication list.
If a veterinarian fails to follow the prescribing directions provided by ABVMA for drugs not on the current TPP medication list, the ABVMA is responsible for enforcing their requests with their members until the proposed drugs specific to the ABVMA additional list are approved by the TPP Steering Committee.
Originally published in the December 14, 2010, issue of The Link