5 Ways to Ready Your Practice for June 11

(File Photo)

June 11, 2023, is a Sunday and the day Guidance For Industry (GFI) 263 goes into effect. 

Your phone could start blowing up with calls and text messages from producers and pet owners you never, or rarely, hear from. Or, maybe not. 

That’s the thing about FDA’s GFI 263 – no one knows how it’s going to play out at the producer level and for your practice. 

Maybe it’ll be just a hiccup in the marketplace, the veterinary industry equivalent of Y2K. The year 2000 problem was expected to create havoc in computers and computer networks around the world, but it was practically a nonevent. 

When GFI 263 takes effect, producers and pet owners will need a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) to buy and use what the FDA describes as all “medically important antimicrobials.” There’s more to it than that, of course. 

You can get more of the details in our cover story in our February issue, which you should have in your mailbox in the next week or so. 

My concern for you and your practice is whether you’ll be ready. 

You went to school to be a veterinarian, but I would encourage you to put on your marketing hat at this point. 

Think about how to get ahead of this guidance, so it doesn’t disrupt your business. Better yet, figure out how to turn GFI 263 into a business opportunity.


1. Figure out what you need to communicate about the guidance and with whom. Don’t overlook current customers. They could help you educate their friends, relatives and neighbors. Talk to your local newspaper and radio media, so they get the word out. Maybe host a community forum in-person or online. 

2. Involve your entire staff in the process. Establish the protocols you want to implement. Consider tapping a vet tech or other staff member as a go-to who people can turn to for more information when you’re not available. 

3. Contact industry members for help. The AABP, NIAA, NCBA and various product manufacturers offer a variety of free resources. 

4. Establish a peer group. Find three or four other rural veterinarians you can talk and text with about what they’re doing. If possible, work cooperatively. 

5. Start now. The clock is ticking, but the good news is you have time to figure this out and work your plan. Please don’t delay.


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