Pharmacy Returns

VTH Policy # Pharmacy640

Implementation Date: 10/2021

Date of Last Review: 3/27/2023

Next Review Due: 5/2023


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: 10/2021

Reviewed by VTH Board: N/A


Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: N/A

Subject to modification by the VTH Director without approval.


The intent of this policy is to define what may be returned to dispensary and to outline the process of returning. This applies to all dispensary items dispensed from dispensary or removed from the Cubex machines. Unused medications (see below guidelines for returnable conditions) may be returned to dispensary for credit prior to the patient being discharged from the hospital. No returns will be accepted once a patient has been discharged. Medications dispensed by the package (liquid Clavamox, Atopica, etc.) may not be returned for credit if opened/reconstituted. Compounded medications may not be returned for credit. No medications dispensed and given to a client may be returned for credit. 


  1.  All items must be returned to dispensary prior to the patient being discharged for credit to be applied.
  2. Medications must be returned in a state that allows for re-dispensing. 
    - Tablets and capsules must be intact and in correctly labeled bottles
    - Products must have been stored correctly (Protected from light, kept at proper temperature)
    - Medications or single-use products sold by the package must be unopened
    - Medications requiring reconstitution must not be reconstituted
    - Injectable medications must still have the plastic top or metal covering attached
    - Fluid bags must still be in the outer packaging (if dispensed from dispensary that way)
  3. Medications dispensed directly to a client are not eligible to be returned for credit.
  4. Items returned must contain patient information (name and MR#) to facilitate account credit
  5. Medications that do not meet the requirements for credit may still be brought to the dispensary for disposal
  6. Compounded medications and oral liquids are non-returnable, unless under special circumstances with Dispensary Coordinator approval. 

Procedure (if applicable)

To return medications to the dispensary for credit:

  1. Make sure each medication is packaged in such a way that it contains the patient name and MR# as well has having the medication name and strength clearly visible.
  2. Bring the medications to the dispensary and place them in the return bin. If the patient is being discharged shortly, notify dispensary staff so processing the returns can be prioritized.
  3. Dispensary staff will process the returns for all eligible medications (see above requirements) and properly dispose of all medications that are not eligible for credit.
  4. If the patient has already been discharged from the visit for which the medications were dispensed, dispensary staff will dispose of the medications and no credit will be issued.

For medications taken off-site by a clinician (ambulatory practice and zoomed):

  1. Drugs are picked up from the dispensary immediately prior to departure. If departure is prior to 8am, medications may be picked up the day before and stored under appropriate conditions (room temperature or refrigerated) in the service area.
  2. Medication must be maintained by the clinician or technician the entire time if it will be returned to dispensary.
  3. For refrigerated medications, they must be transported in a Styrofoam cooler with at least 1 ice pack and maintain cold temperature until returned to dispensary. 
  4. When temperatures are extremely hot, storing room temperature medications in a Styrofoam cooler with a layer of protection (i.e. bubble wrap) separating the medication from the ice pack is strongly encouraged to ensure the medication does not get overly hot.
  5. Medications must not be left in vehicles.
  6. Drugs must be returned to the dispensary immediately upon return, or the following day if dispensary is already closed. Dispensary will then credit all medications eligible for return

Definitions (if applicable)

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.


Keywords:Medication, dispensary, pharmacy, return, credit, unused, discharge, condition, Cubex, refund, eligible, non-returnable, oral liquid, compound, dispense, reconstitute, ambulatory, zoomed, refrigerate, cooler   Doc ID:126891
Owner:Jenny C.Group:University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created:2023-03-27 13:16 CDTUpdated:2023-03-27 13:21 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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