Changes to regulations on veterinary use of medicines and poisons

28 Sep 2021

The expansion of veterinarians' powers to write repeat prescriptions and to dispense medicines based on prescriptions by another veterinarian are major wins for the profession following this week's regulation changes made by the Queensland Government. 

The AVA strongly advocated for both of these changes in its submission on the review of the regulations under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019. Full details of the changes can be found at the below link.

Repeat prescriptions

Key changes include removal of the restriction on the number of repeat supplies that a veterinarian may specify on a prescription. In successfully lobbying for this change, the AVA argued that our approach to writing scripts is that it is good practice to not prescribe repeats past the date that the patients should return for a recheck. Therefore, the AVA believes that rather than a prescribed number of repeats (which may have various time limits in between the need to refill the script) that it is preferable to set a time limit of 6 months before needing to return to the veterinarian.


In line with AVA lobbying, veterinarians may now also dispense a medicine in accordance with a prescription written by another veterinarian. However, the dispensing veterinary surgeon must be satisfied that the medicine they are supplying is appropriate for the treatment of that animal.

Other changes

For full details of all changes, please see the below link to the Queensland Government information. Changes include:

  • Relaxation of the requirement for handwritten particulars (except for signature) on computer generated prescription
  • Expanded powers for veterinary nurses to administer medicines in certain situations
  • Requirements around medicated feed
  • Storage and disposal of medicines

Full details can be found in the following information sheets:

Further information can be found here