FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) — Veterinarians in North Carolina will soon need to report a certain medication some say they use every single day after a bill was signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper.
“We prescribe it frequently for things like pain control, to decrease anxiety for pets that are scared of veterinary visits,” Dr. Kevin Wilson with 5 Points Veterinary Hospital in Fuquay-Varina said of the drug Gabapentin.
But changes are coming to how the drug is handled.
“It’s going to become a reportable substance, which means if we prescribe greater than a 48-hour supply of the medication, we have to report that through a special program,” Dr. Wilson explained.
The change becomes effective on March 1 of next year after Governor Cooper signed a bill into law this summer making Gabapentin a reportable substance. For doctors’ offices and pharmacies, it’ll impact the way they prescribe it to humans. For veterinarian offices who use is frequently, some say it’ll add hours of work to their already busy schedules.
“Depending on the size of the clinic and how much Gabapentin is used, reporting this daily or on a weekly basis could take hours and hours of time per week,” Dr. Wilson said. “That’s a lot when a lot of veterinarians are already short staffed, understaffed, and over busy, and really we don’t have the luxury of having that spare time.”
Veterinarians we heard from say they’re concerned the drug will eventually be classified as a controlled substance, making prescribing it to pets in need even more difficult.