Standards of Practice for Pharmacists

Pharmacists must adhere to the Standards of Practice
for Fellows of the American College of Veterinary Pharmacists.

Standard 1

Before dispensing, each prescription order shall be verified by the pharmacist.  This verification includes that they or the intern receives the prescription by whatever means is allowed under federal or state law (e.g. in person, fax, electronic, phone, etc.); and checks the prescription for incompatibilities, contra-indications, proper dosage and compliance with relevant state and federal regulations.

Standard 2

The pharmacist shall be readily accessible for consultation with clients on health-related problems and health-related products.  The pharmacist shall be able to fully advise veterinarians and their clients on prescription and non-prescription medications.

Standard 3

The pharmacist shall comply with regulations promulgated by the State Board of Pharmacy, state and federal regulations and legislative statutes and have copies of these documents in the pharmacy. All professional improprieties of these regulations by others shall be reported to the proper authorities.

Standard 4

The pharmacist shall attend veterinary continuing education programs and read professional publications to maintain the professional competence necessary to assure patient safety.

Standard 5

The pharmacist shall have the ability to consult with prescribers about the proper drug entity and design of regimens for patients.

Standard 6

The pharmacist will not be involved in agreements which provide financial incentives to prescribers to refer patients or clients for services.

Standard 7

Compounded prescriptions shall be prepared according to USP 795, 797, 800 and other relevant chapters according to state laws where pharmacy practices.

Standard 8

All individual prescription medications shall be dispensed directly by the pharmacist to the veterinarian, or their clients, in accordance with state and local regulations.  Complete dosage directions, precautions, proper storage conditions and other essential information related to the medicine shall be explained at this time to the client or their representative.

Standard 9

Items of questionable quality shall not be stocked by the pharmacy.  These items include out-of-date items, mislabeled or unlabeled drugs, adulterated items, recalled items and other items deemed questionable by the pharmacist based upon published reports or professional experience.

Standard 10

A proper professional image shall be presented by the pharmacist to the public.  This image shall include neat, professional attire; open display of pharmacy and pharmacist’s license; and operation of the prescription department in a clean and orderly manner.

Standard 11

The pharmacist shall maintain a sufficient up-to-date library to optimally practice their role as a drug information specialist.  This library shall include references on toxicology, drug interactions, compounding, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacology, medicine and others. In addition to the toxicology text, ready access should be made available to the local poison control center. This library may consist of a combination of paper and/or electronic sources.

Standard 12

The pharmacist will monitor activities to assist federal and state officials and other health professionals to keep illegal drugs out of the human food chain.

Standard 13

The pharmacist will encourage public health officials to develop disaster plans that will include veterinary care.

Standard 14

Compounded medications will be dispensed to veterinarians for office use only, or resale, where state or provincial legislation and regulations permit.  The pharmacist, using due diligence and best professional judgement, will not dispense compounded medications to veterinarians for resale.

Standard 15

The pharmacist shall not engage in financial incentives with, or dispense samples to, practitioners.

Standard 16

The Pharmacist will expand their knowledge base by maintaining the appropriate continuing education requirements assigned by their individual state boards and/or national certification requirements (as applicable). ACVP provides numerous ACPE-accredited continuing education activities including live and on-demand webinars, compounding training courses, and ACVP annual or regional conferences. Go to for details.