New RCVS Guidelines on Prescription Medications


From 1st September 2023 the Royal College of veterinary Surgeons (RCVS, the regulatory body for the veterinary profession in the UK) has introduced new guidelines on prescription-only medications.

The full guidance can be found on:


This new guidance requires that a physical examination of the pet has to be performed every time antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, anti-parasiticides and controlled drugs are prescribed.

This includes topical preparations such as eye and ear drops, skin ointments, many oral medications and all prescription flea, tick and worm treatments.

The guidance is an important step towards ensuring responsible use of antimicrobials and has been implemented to help reduce the impact of the veterinary profession on the wider issues of global antibiotic resistance and also the decline of insect populations due to environmental chemical contamination.

What this means in practice is that in order to prescribe and treat your pet they will need to come in for consultation and a physical clinical examination every time we need to prescribe medication for a new, ongoing or recurrent condition.

We can no longer issue any prescription medications without this physical examination and clinical assessment.

Certain treatments, such as flea and worming medications or drugs used to treat long term, chronic medical conditions can be prescribed over a longer period of time based on that clinical examination and subsequently dispensed at appropriate time intervals until the next re-examination is required. The frequency of re-examination will depend on the type of medication being prescribed. We can advise you of these requirements when in for consultation.

These new regulations have resulted in an increased workload for all our staff. When ordering any repeat medications or routine parasite products, please allow us 72 hours to check your requirements and process the order. We will let you know if your pet is due an examination and arrange if needed. We thank you for your patience and continued support.

If you have any questions regarding your pet and their medical needs, please ask and one of the Kelston Vet Team can discuss how the new regulations may affect you.

For any  broader questions or concerns about the new regulations and guidance the RCVS can be contacted on:

020 7202 0789