The BVA has written to the VMD asking for all anthelmintics to be classified as POM-V as it believes the availability of some of the drugs from SQPs and pharmacists is causing antimicrobial resistance.

The BVA has called on the VMD to classify all anthelmintics as POM-V in order to fight anthelmintic resistance (AMR).

If the BVA gets its wish, SQPs and pharmacists will not be able to prescribe any anthelmintics for sheep or any other animal.The association said it has written to the VMD to request changes to the Veterinary Medicines Regulations so that all anthelmintics can only be prescribed by a vet. Currently, some can also be prescribed by pharmacists and suitably qualified persons (SQPs). However, the BVA believes, citing “many experts“, that this is “one of the main reasons for the dangerous levels of resistance to anthelmintics in grazing animals in the UK at present”.

The association also believes that “SQPs do not have the level of expertise that a veterinary surgeon has in veterinary parasitology” and that all anthelmintics should become POM-V “so that their use is conditional on appropriate veterinary advice for all species”.

BVA president Peter Jones said: “We know AMR is a major problem that must be addressed vigorously if the livestock industry is to avoid a potentially disastrous situation of being unable to tackle parasites in grazing animals.
“Anthelmintics should only be prescribed by a veterinary surgeon who has the animals under his/her care and based on a sound clinical diagnosis.
“We strongly supported the VMD’s recent decision to continue to classify the new anthelmintic product containing monepantel as POM-V, but the UK stands alone in Europe in classifying other anthelmintics as POM-VPS.
The UK must be brought in line with the rest of Europe and we need Europe-wide legislation to better control access to anthelmintics in order to safeguard the efficacy of these products in the future.”
The BVA said it is also supporting the efforts of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe in lobbying the European Commission for tighter rules to be in place across all European Member States regarding the accessibility of anthelmintics. The association said it is also an “active member” of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance.

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