It was a busy first six months of 2023 for veterinary professionals and practices, and the rest of the year isn’t likely to slow down. With the tradeshow circuit back to pre-pandemic attendance and new regulations going into effect, veterinary professionals have had to manage far more than just patient care.
With the year a little more than halfway over, we’re taking a quick “paws” to review some of the major changes that have already gone into effect, ones still to come, and ways you can prepare your practice for success in the second half of the year. Here are the top five changes and trends we’re keeping an eye on.
1. Implementation of GFI #256
Earlier this year, the FDA finalized regulatory guidance for compounded medications, known as GFI #256. The new guidance affects both office stock in veterinary practices and individual animal-patient prescriptions. However, it does not include cGMP products from 503B outsourcing facilities, like Epicur Pharma.
Some of the biggest changes that GFI #256 brings include:
- Increased documentation for patient-specific prescriptions
- Limitations to available 503A office-stock drugs
Although veterinary professionals were aware of the impending changes with GFI for months, many have been left scrambling since it went into effect in April. If GFI is affecting your practice’s ability to get compounded medications for office use, partnering with a trusted 503B outsourcing facility can help you eliminate risks of limited ordering.
Because 503B outsourcing facilities aren’t included in the GFI changes, partners like Epicur Pharma can ensure your practice stays stocked with high quality, manufactured medications and help streamline ordering processes with our iFill ordering system. The system lists what you can order for office stock and will provide the documentation necessary for patient-specific orders if the guidance requires it.
Our team is dedicated to helping you stay up to date on regulation changes.
We partner with experts to offer educational webinars that ensure you understand the impact on your practice. Watch our most recent on-demand GFI webinar with Nicole Clausen, What Every Inventory Manager Needs to Know About Compounded Medications.
2. Impending USP Guidelines on Beyond-Use Dates
Coming in late 2023, new USP guidelines will limit Beyond-Use Dates (BUDs) on drugs from 503A compounding pharmacies. The changes will shorten the BUDs of compounded 503A products and will not allow pharmacies to establish longer dates, even with sufficient evidence to support or prove their cause.
The new guidelines will only affect BUDs and not expiration dates because drugs can only be assigned with an expiration date after the completion of extensive testing, which 503Bs are required to follow.
As with GFI, this USP guideline will not affect 503B products because they have longer/proven expiration dates validated by cGMP. This impending change is another reason why having a 503B partner is critical to your practice and patient care.
Switching to a 503B partner now will not only alleviate any challenges you’ve had since GFI went into place, but it will also ensure you can order with ease as the impending USP guidelines of BUDs goes into effect!
3. Continued Burnout and Veterinary Staff Shortages
Unemployment rates continue to affect the veterinary industry, with estimates that by 2030 there will be a shortage of 15,000 veterinarians, making the demand for more workers increasingly urgent.
Veterinarians and staff alike struggle to cope with the challenges they face in their daily work environments. As a result, many dedicated professionals are turning away from veterinary medicine, exacerbating the current staff shortages. It is now more important than ever to be aware of the signs and symptoms of burnout so you can properly address them within your work environment.
Although it can be difficult to see, there are some ways you can help find solutions within your practice. It often starts with communication. Make sure you check in with colleagues, notice signs of stress, and offer help. Small changes within your work environment can help relieve the daily non-stop work, like setting a proper lunch break time. You can also automate processes where it makes sense and enhances your practice, such as online ordering and inventory management systems, to give time back to staff.
Need support? Many veterinary professionals are in crisis. Not One More Vet (NOMV) provides the necessary support to all members of veterinary teams and students who are struggling. Contact them today.
4. Prioritizing Client and Patient Relations
In the evolving veterinary industry, prioritizing client and patient relationships remains essential to ensuring the highest possible level of care, especially when transitioning to a service-based model. With this shift, clients often seek a personalized experience knowing you value their pet’s health and well-being as if it were your own.
Often, veterinary hospital visits can be stressful for both the patient and the client. Creating an environment to keep everyone comfortable and educated throughout the visit can build trust with patients and clients.
Establishing trust with pet owners fosters a positive customer experience and nurtures long-lasting loyalty. This can be achieved by creating opportunities to share your knowledge with clients. Whether it’s tips on proper medication usage and storage, guidance on applying medications, reminders of seasonal factors such as ticks or high heat, sharing your expertise helps build a strong relationship with pet owners. To make the client’s time at your practice convenient, you can also stay regularly stocked on compounded medications approved for dispensing through a 503B outsourcing facility like Epicur Pharma.
5. Product Shortages
Product shortages are inevitable and variable, stemming from product recalls, labor shortages, unavailability of necessary packaging, or active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Recent compounded medication shortages from some suppliers have included Buprenorphine Injection, Tacrolimus AQ, and Gabapentin – leaving offices out of stock and unable to have the necessary medications readily available in case of patient emergencies. Keep in mind that for compounded medication, another supplier will be able to help you. The uncertainty of this makes it especially important to have a veterinary pharmacy that you can rely on to inform you of product changes and availability.
With Epicur, consistent and reliable 503B manufactured products are our standard every time. We offer one of the largest selections of 503B manufactured drugs that are traditionally compounded for animal health among currently registered facilities nationwide, with most of our products not having a backorder or shortage in years!
Partner with a pharmacy you trust—explore our available medications.
More to Read
When ordering a patient’s medication, the traditional mindset in veterinary medicine is to be as exact as possible. This results in requests for precise dosages
When the pandemic hit in 2020, veterinary professionals, like so many others, had to quickly shift to alternate patient care models. Curbside visits and telemedicine
It was a busy first six months of 2023 for veterinary professionals and practices, and the rest of the year isn’t likely to slow down.