Join Club

Healthy Paws: How the Opioid Epidemic is Affecting Veterinary Medicine

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic and winner of a 2017 Arlington Chamber of Commerce Best Business Award. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

The opioid epidemic has been in the news quite a bit recently and for good reason.

While opioid and other prescription drug abuse is of significant concern on the human side, its effects are spilling over into veterinary medicine.

If you have a pet on an opioid pain medication, or drug of concern, you may have been contacted by your veterinarian recently about changes to how Virginia is handling those prescriptions from veterinarians.

As of July 1, 2018, veterinarians in the state of Virginia will be required to participate fully in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), which is a 24/7 database containing information on “dispensed covered substances,” which primarily pertains to controlled drugs and “drugs of concern,” which are defined as “drug or substance where there has been or there is the actual or relative potential for abuse.”

With these new guidelines, veterinarians may elect between not dispensing any controlled drugs or drugs of concern from their office, prescribing only for a single 7-day course, or registering as a dispenser of controlled drugs and drugs of concern.

Additional Virginia regulations on veterinarians with respect to the prescribing of chronic covered substances includes a mandatory re-check in within 2 weeks of starting a covered substance and mandatory physical exams at least every 6 months.

If you have a pet on chronic, controlled pain medications, please contact your veterinarian to come up with a plan to keep everyone in compliance with the new regulations, and to reduce the risk of lapse in pain control.

  1. What is the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP)?

Virginia’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) is a 24/7 database containing information on dispensed covered substances (see definitions below for information on covered substances). The primary purpose of the PMP is to promote safe prescribing and dispensing practices for covered substances by providing timely and essential information to healthcare providers.

Law enforcement and health profession licensing boards use the PMP to support investigations related to doctor shopping, diversion, and inappropriate prescribing and dispensing.

  1. What are the PMP reporting requirements for an individual veterinarian?

To review the legislation, SB226, with the amendments highlighted click here. This legislation requires that all veterinarians report the dispensing of covered substances for a course of treatment to last more than seven days. Please note that the amendments become effective on July 1, 2018.

The Code of Virginia states the following:

54.1-2519. Definitions.

“Covered substance” means all controlled substances included in Schedules II, III, and IV and all drugs of concern that are required to be reported to the Prescription Monitoring Program, pursuant to this chapter.

Note: The definition for “Covered substance” was amended in HB1556 and is effective on July 1, 2018. The amended definition will state the following: “Covered substance” means all controlled substances included in Schedules II, III, and IV; controlled substances included in Schedule V for which a prescription is required; naloxone; and all drugs of concern that are required to be reported to the Prescription Monitoring Program, pursuant to this chapter.

54.1-3456.1. Drugs of concern.

A. The Board may promulgate regulations designating specific drugs and substances, including any controlled substance or other drug or substance where there has been or there is the actual or relative potential for abuse, as drugs of concern.

Drugs or substances designated as drugs of concern shall be reported to the Department of Health Professions and shall be subject to reporting requirements for the Prescription Monitoring Program established pursuant to Chapter 25.2 (§ 54.1-2519 et seq.).

B. Drugs and substances designated as drugs of concern shall include any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that contains any quantity of the substance tramadol or gabapentin, including its salts.

Drugs and substances designated as drugs of concern shall not include any non-narcotic drug that may be lawfully sold over the counter or behind the counter without a prescription.

Note: Gabapentin, a Schedule VI controlled substance, is currently the only drug of concern that must be reported to the PMP. In addition, the dispensing of naloxone must also be reported.

Recent Stories

Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…

A march against drugs drew a large crowd of parents and community members to Wakefield High School, where a student died this week.

Arlington County police responded to an unusual incident on Route 50 this afternoon. It happened around 1 p.m. at the intersection with Park Drive, near the Arlington Forest Shopping Center…

Building a new home should be a rewarding and memorable experience. That’s why a custom-built home requires personalized service! Here’s your chance to learn everything you need to know about…

The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by

×

Subscribe to our mailing list