Telemedicine Advancing Industry, Despite FDA Announcement Confusion

Telemedicine Advancing Industry, Despite FDA Announcement Confusion - Vetster

What You Need to Know:

  • Virtual care continues to advance around the world, and across America.
  • VVCA clarifies FDA announcement regarding Covid-era waiver as applicable only to the writing of Veterinary Feed Directives and in regards to extra-label drug use.
  • The majority of the practice of veterinary medicine (including telemedicine) has always been and continues to be under state control - continue working with your local licensing board.
  • Practicing with Vetster and providing telehealth and telemedicine services continues to grow.

We all follow the regulations regarding establishing a VCPR closely. It’s the critical component of establishing care for animals and their owners in clinic or online. During the pandemic many provisions were provided that changed how a VCPR could be established and what could be included in telemedical services - including prescribing, of course. These changes were implemented to increase access to care at a time when in-person care was not possible.

One such provision was from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). At the time (March 2020), the “Enforcement Policy Regarding Federal VCPR Requirements to Facilitate Veterinary Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Outbreak” was published. The FDA regulation is not a prohibition of the aspects of veterinary medicine that are regulated by the state, including  establishment of a VCPR via telemedicine in those states permitting such a VCPR. Additionally, the FDA does not govern how a VCPR must be established for prescription, administration or dispensing of drugs that are not off-label. State regulations govern these prescriptions, and practitioners should check their practice acts/regulations in any state where they practice.

Now, with the pandemic largely over and veterinarians able to visit food-producing farms and see animals in-person as needed, the FDA has rescinded the provision.

The announcement caused quite the confusion and gave the impression that telemedicine regulations were changing. The AVMA also put out a statement that left many readers with the false impression that all telemedicine would no longer be possible. Nothing could be further from the truth - many great strides are being made to further the advancement of virtual care in our industry.  If you’d like more on the specifics of the FDA announcement, check out the VVCA’s summary here.

At Vetster we continue to monitor and support progress in expanding access to licensed veterinarians through new modalities of care as appropriate for an animal’s wellbeing and welfare. We’ll keep you posted as virtual care and telemedicine continue to advance.

The Vetster Editorial Team is comprised of seasoned writers and communicators dedicated to elevating stories about Vetster, pets and their owners.

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