The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has published revised plans to amend the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 (VMR), dropping somes of its initial proposals and changing others.
The changes come after an eight-week public consultation last year received responses from 188 individuals and organisations. Although many of the responses were supportive, the VMD has responded to concerns raised by stakeholders over some of the plans.
Planned changes which have been dropped include:
• Only allowing veterinary prescription-only medicines to be advertised to animal keepers if they are immunological medicines
• Changing the classification for new immunological veterinary medicines so they can only be prescribed by veterinary surgeons
• Changing prescribing requirements for veterinary surgeons to include ‘clinical examination or other proper assessment’ instead of ‘clinical assessment’.
There have also been amendments made to other proposals, including the proposed changes to labelling requirements for veterinary medicines.
The VMR, which regulate the marketing, manufacture, distribution, possession and administration of veterinary medicines and medicated feed, have previously only been slightly altered since they were introduced in October 2013.
Abi Seager, VMD chief executive officer, said: “We are grateful to everyone who took the time to provide considered responses to our consultation.
“We are pleased with the support for the proposed changes. Where the feedback identified disproportionate impacts on certain businesses or unintended consequences on animal health and welfare, we have acted and amended our proposals.
“We look forward to continuing engagement with all our stakeholders and support[ing] them through the implementation of the upcoming changes.”
The newly published plans have been welcomed by the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
Anna Judson, BVA president, said: “We’re pleased to see that the government has listened to the concerns we raised in our consultation response last year. These are reflected in amendments including the appropriate use of the cascade, the prescribing of medicated feed, and a commitment towards better regulation of online pharmacies.
“BVA will take time to carefully review the details of the government’s consultation response and share feedback with [the] government and our members.”
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