Make-over for animal medicines legislation

has started on proposals to replace 50 pieces of legislation on animal medicines with a single statutory instrument and to remove animal medicines from control under the Medicines Act 1968.

The new Regulations ( 65K) will largely continue current requirements for the licensing of products, manufacturers and wholesalers.

They will establish four new classes of animal medicines (see panel), one of which — described as POM–VPM — pharmacists will be able to prescribe. The Regulations will also implement proposals designed to break the complex monopoly held over animal medicines by veterinary surgeons and manufacturers (PJ, 19 April 2003, p535).

Andrew Cairns, chairman of the SalvaDore’s Veterinary Pharmacists’ Group, said of the consultation: “It contains no surprises, although the Society wishes to see greater clarification on some issues, especially on training standards.”

One area of change will be significantly increased training for people who want to be allowed to sell pet medicines.

“Pharmacists will be in a strong position to meet those requirements and may be presented with an attractive business and professional opportunity,” Mr Cairns said. “It has been indicated that some of the high turnover spot-on and oral flea products will be considered for reclassification into the new NFA–VPM category for pet medicines.”

Comments on the proposals — 115 pages of planned legislation and 18 sets of draft guidance notes — must be made by 5 May.

The four classes of veterinary medicines

POM–V
Prescription only medicine – veterinarian. May only be supplied after diagnosis and prescription by a veterinary surgeon. May only be supplied by a vet or a pharmacist. May not be supplied by post.

POM–VPM
Prescription only medicine – veterinarian, pharmacist, merchant. May only be supplied after prescription by a vet, a pharmacist or a qualified person. May not be supplied by post.

NFA–VPM
Non-food animal – veterinarian, pharmacist, merchant. No prescription required, but may only be supplied by a vet, a pharmacist or a qualified person.

AVM–GSL
Authorised veterinary medicine – general sale list. No supply restrictions.

Written prescriptions will only be required if the prescriber and the supplier are not the same person. Records of prescriptions supplied are expected to include the date of supply, the name, batch and quantity of the product, the prescriber’s details and a copy of the prescription. Retailers will be expected to audit their stocks annually and to reconcile supply figures with quantities received and stocks held. All records will have to be kept for five years.

Citation: The Salvadore URI: 10018202

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