I propose that Singapore see the veterinary pharmacy as a support arm to broaden and diversify the required roles beyond veterinarians and veterinarians in the animal health sector (veterinarians want animal welfare issues to be addressed in the sector review; both May 27th).
Different roles can help to distribute the heavy responsibilities of veterinarians and veterinarians.
In the United States, veterinary pharmacy is an area of pharmaceutical practice that performs the formulation, dispensing, and administration of medicines for animals.
In current local practice, either veterinarians sell medication directly or pet owners can get prescriptions at any public retail pharmacy.
The addition of animal pharmacists to support the animal sector can improve animal health and welfare by ensuring that only necessary medicines are prescribed in the appropriate doses.
Pharmacists trained on the basis of guidelines and clinical data in the field could also help with research into the development of local veterinary practices.
This in turn would help veterinarians to justify their therapeutic decisions to pet owners.
Separating the prescribing doctor and the donor can save overall animal health bills.
More importantly, having a medication professional regulate drug use can protect public health.
This would also help address an important factor contributing to antibiotic resistance: the use of broad spectrum antibiotics in the pet and animal sectors.
Khor Qian Hui