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& Legislation

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How Veterinary Medicine is Regulated

Nancy Ehrlich, RVT

Regulatory/Legislative Advocate, CaRVTA

The rules governing the practice of veterinary medicine in California are compiled in the California Veterinary Medicine Practice Act, commonly known as The Practice Act (https://vmb.ca.gov/forms_pubs/gen_pubs.shtml).  The book also contains laws and regulations related to veterinary medicine written by other agencies as well as the Radiation Safety Guide.

The statutes, or laws written by the legislature, define the scope of practice and authorize the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) to write regulations.  The Veterinary Medical Board s regulations clarify and make specific the laws written by the legislature

The Veterinary Medical Board, as part of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), has consumer protection as its primary function.  Virtually all of its activity must be carried out in public.  The VMB also has a Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee (MDC).  The regulatory process affords the public multiple opportunities for input.  Most regulations written by the VMB start at the MDC.  The VMB assigns topics to the MDC for discussion, which must be open to the public.  After the MDC has approved a proposed regulation, it is sent to the VMB for its review.  This review is also open to the public.  After publishing the proposal and taking public input, if the VMB adopts the proposal, it is then sent to a variety of agencies.  If approved by all of the other agencies, the regulation goes into effect.

RVTs must be mindful that as licensed professionals, we are subject to discipline by the VMB if we violate any of the sections of the Practice Act.  We can be cited and fined, or in extreme cases, have our licenses revoked.  It is critical that RVTs understand the Practice Act and their responsibilities as licensees.

As residents of California, we are fortunate to live in a state that promotes citizen participation in the regulatory process.  The various open meetings acts in this state require that all government business, with very few exceptions, must be conducted in the open, with the ability of the public to comment.  RVTs are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to participate in the process by subscribing to the VMB s email list (https://www.vmb.ca.gov/webapps/subscribe.php).  People on the list receive updates to laws and regulations affecting veterinary medicine as well as announcements about VMB/MDC meetings. 

Attendees at VMB meetings may speak up on issues before the Board and, therefore, have the opportunity to affect the outcome.  Thanks to the pandemic, the VMB will now be meeting both in-person and on-line, which greatly facilitates participation.

Democracy works only to the extent that citizens participate.

Pursuant to Assembly Bill 1535, select veterinary staff members 
will be required to wear name tags
when interacting with the public. 
The law states:

48267.3 (a) Notwithstanding any law, a veterinary technician, veterinary assistant, and a VACSP permit holder registered in this state shall wear a name tag identification in at least 18 point type in any area of the veterinary premises that is accessible to members of the public.  The name tag shall include the veterinary technician, veterinary assistant, and VASCP permit holder's name, and if applicable, the license, registration, or permit type and number issued by the board.

(b)  A person subject to the requirement in subdivision (a) may remove the name tag when working with or handling animal patients.

(c)  This section shall become operative on January 1, 2023.

Section (c) provides a one-year implementation period to give veterinary practices time to comply with the name tag requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding
Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)

DEA wishes to remind registrants that paper prescriptions, including prescriptions created on paper and prescriptions generated by computer or a prescription application that are printed out or faxed by a practitioner, must be manually signed by the prescribing practitioner.

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and its implementing regulations specify the requirements for issuing and filling prescriptions for controlled substances. By statutory requirement, a valid prescription issued by a DEA-registered practitioner (or a practitioner exempt from the requirement of registration) is required for dispensing a controlled substance, unless the controlled substance is dispensed directly by a practitioner. 21 U.S.C. 829; 21 CFR 1306.11.

The CSA provides that a pharmacist may dispense schedule III and IV controlled substances pursuant to a “written or oral prescription.” 21 U.S.C. 829(b). DEA regulations further specify that a pharmacist may dispense a controlled substance listed in schedule III, IV, or V pursuant to “either a paper prescription signed by a practitioner [or] a facsimile of a signed paper prescription transmitted by the practitioner or the practitioner’s agent . . . .” 21 CFR 1306.21(a). With respect to paper prescriptions for controlled substances in any schedule, DEA regulations provide that a “computer-generated prescription that is printed out or faxed by the practitioner must be manually signed.” 21 CFR 1306.05(d). Controlled substances in schedules III, IV, and V may also be dispensed by a pharmacist pursuant to “an oral prescription made by an individual practitioner and promptly reduced to writing by the pharmacist containing all information required [for a valid prescription] in ยง 1306.05(a), except for the signature of the practitioner.” 21 CFR 1306.21(a).

In addition, DEA regulations permit a practitioner to issue, and a pharmacy to process, electronic prescriptions for controlled substances in schedules II-V provided that the requirements in part 1311 are met. 21 CFR 1306.08, 1306.05(e), and 1311.100(b),(e).
Because schedule II controlled substances have a higher potential for abuse and a greater likelihood of dependence compared to those in schedules III-V, the CSA’s controls on schedule II controlled substances are more restrictive. Therefore, the CSA and DEA regulations permit a schedule II controlled substance to be dispensed only pursuant to a written prescription signed by the practitioner, except in emergency situations when dispensing pursuant to an oral prescription is permitted. 21 U.S.C. 829(a); 21 CFR 1306.11(a),(d).1 DEA regulations further provide that a paper prescription for a controlled substance in schedule II “may be transmitted by the practitioner or the practitioner’s agent to a pharmacy via facsimile equipment, provided that the original manually signed prescription is presented to the pharmacist for review prior to the actual dispensing of the controlled substance . . . .” 21 CFR 1306.11(a). Certain limited exceptions apply to prescriptions for narcotic substances to be compounded for direct administration to a patient and to prescriptions for residents of long term care facilities and patients in certain hospice care programs. 21 C.F.R. 1306.11(e)-(g). However, in most cases, a pharmacist must receive the original, manually signed paper prescription or an electronic prescription meeting the requirements of part 1311 prior to dispensing a schedule II controlled substance.
In sum, DEA wishes to reiterate that paper prescriptions, including prescriptions created on paper and prescriptions generated by computer or a prescription application that are printed out or faxed, must be manually signed by the practitioner. This includes prescriptions faxed via computer or a prescription application which does not meet the requirements for electronic prescriptions in part 1311. Further, registrants are reminded that “the responsibility for the proper prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances is upon the prescribing practitioner, but a corresponding responsibility rests with the pharmacist who fills the prescription.” 21 CFR 1306.04(a).
We hope this information is helpful. For information regarding DEA’s Diversion Control Division, please visit www.DEAdiversion.usdoj.gov.

Please contact the Diversion Control Division, Policy Section at (571) 362-3260 for further questions.

AVMA - Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities APPLY HERE   Applications are due February 15, 2022.
Call for Nominations for Open Positions for 2022
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Veterinarian Representing Education of Veterinary Technicians
  • Veterinarian or Veterinary Technician – Representing Veterinary Medicine Industry

Extension of DCA Director's Order Waiving Restrictions on Telemedicine and Extending Time to Refill Prescriptions

Pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order N-39-20, on June 4, 2020, the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) issued an Order Waiving Restrictions on Telemedicine and Extending Time to Refill Prescriptions (June 4 Order), which contained two waivers regarding the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR).
With respect to telemedicine restrictions related to the VCPR, the June 4, 2020 waiver was extended on July 31, 2020September 17, 2020December 15, 2020February 26, 2021April 30, 2021, and July 1, 2021, so that the waiver was in effect through August 31, 2021. On August 31, 2021, the Director issued a new Order (August 31 Order) further extending the June 4 Order waiving, until October 31, 2021, specified telemedicine restrictions related to the VCPR.
For prescription refills associated with the VCPR, the June 4 Order authorized prescription refills up to 18 months for refills based on an in-person examination of an animal patient last performed by a veterinarian between June 1, 2019 and August 1, 2019. On November 25, 2020, the Director withdrew and superseded that waiver and issued an order authorizing prescription refills up to 20 months for refills based on an in-person examination of the animal patient last performed by the veterinarian between June 1, 2019 and August 1, 2019.
On July 31, 2020, the Director issued an order authorizing prescription refills up to 18 months for prescriptions that may not be refilled between August 2, 2020, and October 1, 2020, due to the one-year time limitation for refilling a prescription from the date the veterinarian last examined the animal patient and prescribed the drug.
On September 17, 2020, the Director issued an order authorizing prescription refills up to 18 months for prescriptions that may not be refilled between October 2, 2020, and December 31, 2020, due to the one-year time limitation for refilling a prescription from the date the veterinarian last examined the animal patient and prescribed the drug.
On December 15, 2020, the Director issued an order authorizing prescription refills up to 18 months for prescriptions that may not be refilled between January 1, 2021, and February 28, 2021, due to the one-year time limitation for refilling a prescription from the date the veterinarian last examined the animal patient and prescribed the drug.
On January 26, 2021, the Director issued an order, which withdrew and superseded the June 4 Order and July 31, 2020 Order as they pertained to California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 2032.1, subsection (c). The January 26, 2021 Order also withdrew and superseded the November 25, 2020 Order.
On February 26, 2021, the Director issued an order authorizing prescription refills up to 18 months for prescriptions that may not be refilled between March 1, 2021, and April 30, 2021, due to the one-year time limitation for refilling a prescription from the date the veterinarian last examined the animal patient and prescribed the drug.
On April 30, 2021, the Director issued an order authorizing prescription refills up to 18 months for prescriptions that may not be refilled between May 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021, due to the one-year time limitation for refilling a prescription from the date the veterinarian last examined the animal patient and prescribed the drug.
On July 1, 2021, the Director issued an order authorizing prescription refills up to 18 months for prescriptions that may not be refilled between July 1, 2021, and August 31, 2021, due to the one-year time limitation for refilling a prescription from the date the veterinarian last examined the animal patient and prescribed the drug.
The August 31 Order authorizes prescription refills up to 18 months for prescriptions that may not be refilled between September 1, 2021, and October 31, 2021, due to the one-year time limitation for refilling a prescription from the date the veterinarian last examined the animal patient and prescribed the drug.


DCA Director's Order Waiving License Renewal Requirements -
LAST EXTENSION

Pursuant to Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-39-20, on September 28, 2021, the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) issued an Order Waiving License Renewal Requirements (September 28 Order) - this will be the last extension of related Orders Waiving License Renewal Requirements. The September 28 Order applies to individuals whose active licenses expire between October 1, 2021, and October 31, 2021, and temporarily waives:

  1. Any statutory or regulatory requirement that individuals renewing a license pursuant to Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code take and pass an examination in order to renew a license; and
  2. Any statutory or regulatory requirement that an individual renewing a license pursuant to Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code complete, or demonstrate compliance with, any continuing education requirements in order to renew a license.
Licensees must satisfy any waived renewal requirements within six months of this Order, unless further extended. The temporary waivers do not relieve the licensee from timely complying with any other renewal requirements (e.g., submitting required renewal forms to the Veterinary Medical Board) and do not apply to continuing education, training, or examination required pursuant to a disciplinary order against the licensee.

DCA Director's Order Extending Time to Satisfy Examination Requirements - LAST EXTENSION

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some license applicants have had limited or no access to the examinations needed for licensure. On September 30, 2020, the California Department of Consumer Affairs Director issued an order extending the deadline from 60 months to 66 months for veterinarian applicants to take and pass the veterinarian license examinations in order give more time to veterinarian applicants to take the examinations necessary for licensure, a required step to obtain a license with the Veterinary Medical Board. This extension applied to veterinarian applicants whose 60-month period expired between March 31, 2020, and November 30, 2020.
On November 25, 2020, the Director issued an order extending the examination deadline from 60 months to 66 months for veterinarian applicants whose 60-month period expires between December 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021.
On January 26, 2021, the Director issued an order extending the examination deadline from 60 months to 66 months for veterinarian applicants whose 60-month period expires between February 1, 2021, and April 2, 2021.
On March 30, 2021, the Director issued an order extending the examination deadline from 60 months to 66 months for veterinarian applicants whose 60-month period expires between April 3, 2021, and June 1, 2021.
On June 3, 2021, the Director issued an order extending the examination deadline from 60 months to 66 months for veterinarian applicants whose 60-month period expires between June 2, 2021, and August 1, 2021.
On July 26, 2021, the Director issued an order extending the examination deadline from 60 months to 66 months for veterinarian applicants whose 60-month period expires between August 2, 2021, and September 30, 2021.
On September 28, 2021, the Director issued a new order extending the examination deadline from 60 months to 66 months for veterinarian applicants whose 60-month period expires between October 1, 2021, and October 31, 2021. This will be the last extension of related Orders Extending Time to Satisfy Examination Requirements.

Letter from the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine to Help Stop Misuse of Animal Ivermectin to Prevent or Treat COVID-19 in Humans

August 30, 2021
Dear Veterinarians and retailers of animal health products,
The FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine has continued concerns that there are people using formulations of the drug ivermectin that are intended for animals, to treat or prevent COVID-19 in humans.
As noted in many recent news stories and in a Health Alert from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poison control centers across the United States are seeing a sharp spike in reports of people suffering adverse health effects after taking animal ivermectin. People are purchasing various highly concentrated animal ivermectin drug formulations such as "pour-on," injectable, paste, and "drench" that are intended for horses, cattle, and sheep, and taking these drugs has made some people very sick.
Even if animal drugs have the same active ingredient as an approved human drug, animal drugs have not been evaluated for safety or effectiveness in humans. Treating human medical conditions with veterinary drugs can be very dangerous. The drug may not work at all, or it could worsen the illness and/or lead to serious, potentially life-threatening health complications. People should not take products approved for veterinary use, "for research only," or otherwise not for human consumption.
We are asking for your help in sharing important safety information about the misuse of animal ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 in people. To assist you, we have developed a sign that is available for download if you'd like to pass it out or post it at your place of business to remind people about the dangers of treating themselves with animal ivermectin.
CVM is hearing of reports of decreased availability of certain animal ivermectin products in certain regions of the country. If you are a veterinarian or animal caretaker who is having difficulty obtaining this drug for animal use, please let us know by emailing AnimalDrugShortages@fda.hhs.gov.
Please help us protect public health by reporting any animal drug advertising/animal ivermectin products with claims about preventing or curing COVID-19 by emailing FDA-COVID-19-Fraudulent-Products@fda.hhs.gov or calling 1-888-InfoFDA (1-888-463-6332).
We thank you for your help and cooperation with this urgent safety issue. CVM is hopeful that we can work together to prevent more people being harmed from taking animal drugs.
Please stay safe and healthy.
Dr. Steven Solomon
Director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine
Informational Resources:


Veterinary Medical Board Update - September 2021

Welcome to a monthly update from the Veterinary Medical Board (Board). Please visit the Board's website at www.vmb.ca.gov for more information.

RECENT NEWS:

  • On July 28, 2021, proposed Second Modified Text for the Board's regulatory proposal to amend California Code of Regulations (CCR), title 16, section 2006, and the document entitled "Veterinary Medical Board Disciplinary Guidelines, July 2012 Edition", which is incorporated by reference, was noticed for 15 days. The public comment period closed on August 12, 2021.
  • On July 28, 2021, proposed Second Modified Text for the Board's regulatory proposal to add article 11 (commencing with section 2090) to division 20 of title 16 of the CCR related to Drug Compounding was noticed for 15 days. The public comment period closed on August 12, 2021.
  • On August 31, 2021, the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) issued Waiver Order DCA-21-193, which further extended the June 4, 2020 waiver order related to telemedicine for new or different medical conditions and prescription refills. The current extension order expires on October 31, 2021, unless further extended.

REMINDERS:

  • DCA Waiver Order DCA-21-175, which applies to individuals whose active licenses expire between March 31, 2020, and September 30, 2021, temporarily waives: 1) any statutory or regulatory requirement that individuals renewing a license pursuant to Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code (BPC) take and pass an examination in order to renew a license; and, 2) any statutory or regulatory requirement that an individual renewing a license pursuant to Division 2 of the BPC complete, or demonstrate compliance with, any continuing education (CE) requirements in order to renew a license. Licensees must satisfy any waived renewal requirements within six months of this order, unless further extended. This waiver order withdraws and rescinds prior related DCA orders waiving license renewal requirements. (Note: for licensees of the Board, only the temporary CE waiver is applicable; all other license renewal requirements must be met).
  • Fingerprinting: Fingerprints are required for license renewal. (BPC, sections 1444836.2; CCR, tit. 16, section 2010.05.) Licensees should review their license renewal reminder to see if fingerprinting is specifically required to renew their licenses. The Board's website provides fingerprinting requirements and instructions and a list of Active Live Scan Sites for those who can complete fingerprinting in California. For those who are not able to travel to California, a request for a hard card packet for fingerprinting can be sent to vmb@dca.ca.gov. Licensees must include their Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) when completing the Live Scan form or fingerprint card. If a licensee fails to identify their SSN or ITIN on the Live Scan form or fingerprint card, the Board will be unable to match the criminal history report with the licensee's file. License renewal cannot be completed until the Board receives the renewing licensee's criminal history report. Licensees are encouraged to complete fingerprinting well in advance of their license renewal date to ensure timely renewal.
  • Expert Witnesses Needed: The Board is continuing to recruit California licensed veterinarians to serve as expert witnesses for the Board's Enforcement Program. Expert witnesses play a very important role in consumer protection by providing their opinion on the standard of care in the profession. Experts are reimbursed for their services and may be called on to provide consultation to staff, review case materials, prepare written opinions, and, when necessary, testify at administrative hearings. For additional information, please visit the Board's website or contact Amber Kruse at Amber.Kruse@dca.ca.gov.

Coming Up:

  • The next scheduled meeting of the Board's Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee (MDC) is October 20, 2021.
  • The Board's next scheduled meeting is October 21-22, 2021.



Click HERE to Read 
UC Davis Spotlight

Click HERE to see the  
Regulation/Legislation
Report

VMB meeting Schedule

Veterinary Professional Liability Program
Hanover Insurance Group
Application

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) has provided a list of confirmed sites throughout California
that are currently providing Livescan services.
This list, as of April 27, 2020, is available on our website here.  (PDF is also HERE)
The Veterinary Medical Board will continue to revise its website as DOJ provides updated information to the Board.

California
Registered Veterinary Technicians Association
1017 L Street Suite 389 Sacramento California 95814 
916-244-2494  info@carvta.org
The California Registered Veterinary Technicians Association is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit organization.

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