A Controlled Substance For A Controlling Patient

, , , | Healthy | September 1, 2018

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Animal Hospital]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Client: “Hi, I just moved from [State] and need a refill of phenobarbital for my dog.”

(Phenobarbital is used as a seizure medication in dogs, and it is a controlled substance because of its potential for abuse.)

Me: “Okay, we actually can’t get you any medication without examining your dog, but I would be happy to set up an appointment for you. Then we can certainly get your dog some medication. We have a few appointments left today, or we could set something up at a more convenient time.”

Client: “I don’t want an exam; he just needs more of his seizure medication.”

Me: “Ma’am, we can’t prescribe him anything without an exam first.”

Client: “But he’s been on it for years; you can ask my old vet.”

Me: “Unfortunately, one veterinary clinic is not able to act as a pharmacy for a different veterinarian. We cannot give you any medication without examining your dog.”

(At this point my coworkers are starting to listen to my end of the phone call, amused as I repeat myself.)

Client: “But he just needs his medication.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but a vet must have a relationship with a patient in order to prescribe any medication. It’s not just a clinic policy; if one of our doctors prescribed you medication without examining your dog she could lose her license.”

Client: “Ugh, how much would an exam cost?”

Me: “$46.”

Client: “I think I’ll call some other places first.”

Me: “Have a great day. Give us a call if you decide to come in for an exam.”

(I hang up the phone.)

Me: *to my watching coworkers* “She can call around all she wants, but she’s not going to find a vet who will prescribe a controlled substance to a dog he’s never examined.”

1 Thumbs