How do I buy prescription medicines?

Click right here to download our prescription template!

How do I buy prescription medicines?

Three Easy Steps

  1. Ask your vet for a written prescription

  2. On viovet.co.uk, type in the name of the medicine in the search box at the top, then purchase the amount permitted on your prescription.

  3. Send your prescription to us via one of the below methods:

Email to [email protected]

Post to Prescription Team, VioVet, 53 Bilton Way, Luton, LU1 1UU.

Upload to the website

Frequently Asked Questions

Which medicines require a prescription?

Look out for 'Prescription required' in green on the product page; you may need to select an option from the drop down.

Why do some medicines require a prescription?

Some medicines are legally classed in this way to safeguard your pet's health and the general public. They may cause harm if used incorrectly.

How do I get a prescription?

You will need to ask your vet.The law changed in 2005 requiring vets to allow their clients to buy medicines from the supplier of their choice. Your vet will be familiar with this procedure and will provide a signed prescription on request.

Will my vet charge me for providing a prescription?

Yes, vets often charge. You will have to check with your vet what their fee will be.

Do you accept prescriptions from outside of the UK?

We are able to send medication to countries outside of the UK under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations. A valid prescription is required from a registered vet within the country the medicine is intended to be used.

How long does a prescription last for?

Prescriptions are valid for a total maximum of 6 months (unless controlled) from the date of issue. All medication must be purchased from the prescription before the 6 months. After this time has passed the prescription will become invalid.

Do I need a prescription for every order?

You can ask your vet to write a “repeat prescription”, which allows you to buy the named medicines a specified number of times. Most vets are happy to supply a prescription which will allow you to buy 6 months worth of medicines. You can then choose to buy them all at once, or ask us to keep the prescription on file and order one month’s worth as you need them.

Do I need a prescription for 'Prescription Diets'?

No. However these diets are often unsuitable for normal, healthy animals, so you should seek professional advice before feeding them.

What additional restrictions are there for Controlled Drugs (such as Epiphen)?

Prescriptions for certain medicines don't quite follow the rules shown above. There is only a small handful of these and they will show on our website as a "Scheduled Drug". The differences regarding prescriptions between these medicines and most of the prescription medicines listed on the website are as follows:

  • The full quantity of medication allowed on the prescription must be purchased within 28 days of the date signed - not 6 months.

  • The original prescription must be posted to us - we cannot accept faxed, emailed, uploaded, photocopies, etc for legal reasons.

  • The prescription must be written out by a UK qualified vet and they cannot be shipped abroad.

  • Repeats cannot be accepted.

  • The prescription can only be used once, so the total quantity must be ordered in only one time.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused by these extra restrictions, but these are the regulations. Unfortunately we cannot make any exceptions, regardless of the situation.

Where can I find more information about Authorised Medications?

Information about all medicines authorised for use in the UK can be found in the form of a "Summary of Product Characteristics" (SPC) on the VMD website. Follow this link to search their database for the SPC using the brand name of the medicine you are interested in. This is in addition to the product datasheet which can be found under the description of the product on the VioVet website.

Who governs prescriptions and the supply of veterinary medicines for animals?

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is responsible for this. They are a British Government department attached to DEFRA. You can see their guidance notes regarding all aspects of Veterinary Medicinal Products by clicking here.

Can my vet refuse to issue a prescription?

Legally a vet is obliged, on request, to issue a written prescription for a medicine they would be prepared to sell to you themselves.

Can my vet insist on an extra check-up, or blood test, before providing a written prescription?

Only if they would require that same check-up if they were going to sell you the medicine themselves. They cannot insist on extra check-ups for clients who choose to buy elsewhere. Most vets will provide repeat prescriptions for long-term medications (such as arthritis or heart treatments) for 6 months. After that length of time, they usually insist on seeing your animal before any more medicine can be purchased, wherever you choose to buy it from. This is generally accepted as the correct procedure under current legislation, though it is up to your vet to decide on the frequency of check-ups.

What to do if your pet suffers an adverse reaction to a medicinal product

No medicine is risk-free and all medicines have the potential to cause adverse effects. Some of the adverse effects are known about and these are explained in the products SPC. Others that may only rarely occur or are specific for certain breeds or groups of animals may only be seen when the products are used more widely. If you suspect that you or your animal has had an adverse reaction to a veterinary medicine, or you think the medicine hasn’t worked as it should have done, report it to the VMD using the form available via the link below:

https://www.vmd.defra.gov.uk/adversereactionreporting/

Can I download a template prescription for my vet to fill in?

Yes, you can find a template here. Your vet can also use their own prescription template/format.