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Seventy-seven (77) percent of pharmacists surveyed reported they routinely filled prescriptions for animals.1,2

However, numerous reports show that pharmacists are not prepared to safely and effectively handle animal prescriptions.1-5 According to a 2012-2013 survey of 707 veterinarians, one-third knew of a dispensing error that occurred at a community pharmacy.3 Of those reports, one-tenth resulted in harm to the animal.A 2017 study of 602 pharmacists showed that the mean correct score in a short questionnaire on veterinary pharmacology basics was 29.4% (slightly above random guessing). Within this group, 41.3% said they would dispense xylitol to a canine patient, a known toxin to this species.7

These errors could be due to pharmacists’ negligence. But more likely they are due in large part to the lack of veterinary pharmacology education in schools of pharmacy. Such training is not a mandatory part of the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum and only a handful of schools offer an elective. Postgraduate continuing education programs are also lagging.

Recognition of the problem has brought the National Associations of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to express a desire to strengthen pharmacists’ education in veterinary pharmacotherapy. The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) voted in 2021 to adopt the definition of a “patient” to include both human and animal species.

The Eshelman School of Pharmacy, along with experts in the field of veterinary pharmacy and compounding, wish to provide useful educational materials to increase awareness of the many aspects of veterinary compounding and develop the skills pharmacists and veterinarians need to compound quality preparations. is an open-source website that has provided human compounding information for more than 25 years, and is pleased to support this veterinary compounding initiative.

  1. Sorah, E. and Davidson, G., 2015, June. Royal K. Dispensing errors for non-human patients in the community pharmacy setting: A survey of pharmacists and veterinarians. In Poster presented at: Society of Veterinary Hospital Pharmacists, 34th Annual Meeting.
  2. Mingura, M., 2017, June. Community pharmacists and veterinary prescriptions: An analysis of prevalence, type, training, and knowledge retention. In Poster presented at: Society of Veterinary Hospital Pharmacists 36th Annual Meeting.
  3. Cima G. Substitution errors: surveys describe harm from differences between prescriptions and drugs dispensed. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2014;245:462-482.
  4. Karriker M, Wiebe V. Pharmacists in veterinary education: bridging the gap. J Vet Med Educ. 2006;33:248-252.
  5. Theberge CR, Sehgal I. Brining more veterinary pharmacy into the pharmacy curriculum. Am J Pharm Educ. 2016;80-89. Doi:10.5688/ajpe80589
  6. Arnish CE, Davidson GS, Royal K. Veterinary pharmacy education: prevalence and perceptions. Poster presented at: Society of Veterinary Hospital Pharmacists, 34th Annual Meeting; June 14-17, 2015; Portland, ME.
  7. Young NW, Royal KD, Davidson GS. Pharmacists’ Knowledge of Veterinary Pharmacotherapy and the Impact of an Educational Intervention. Journal of Pharmacy Technology 2018, Vol. 34(6) 244-251.