Saskatchewan veterinarians eye prescription change

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. — Anticipated bylaw changes at the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association later this year could make it easier for cattle producers to obtain medication at better prices.

SVMA registrar Judy Currie said a bylaw to be discussed at the annual general meeting in September would make it possible for veterinarians to fill each other’s prescriptions.

“In Saskatchewan, currently veterinarians cannot fill a prescription for another veterinarian,” she said at the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association annual convention. “A producer can take a written prescription from any veterinarian and get it filled at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine or another pharmacy that stocks vet drugs.”

But unless a client is close to the WCVM pharmacy the options are limited.

Concern has been raised as new regulations come into force that will remove from the shelf some drugs previously available over the counter and make them available only from vet clinics. A valid veterinary-client-patient relationship is also required.

Rancher Pat Hayes from Val Marie, Sask., said he is afraid producers are being forced into a box.

“What I’m seeing under this system is that I need someone I can work with … (and) he’s going to be the only avenue left for me to buy drugs from,” Hayes said. “That’s a monopoly. We keep getting shoved and pretty soon we can’t afford the cost so then we don’t bother calling a vet.”

Currie said she agrees and hopes the bylaw will change.

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