The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has told the profession there may be problems with the supply of products to treat fly strike in sheep this summer.

According to the directorate, the hot weather seen in many parts of the country may cause an increased demand for products to treat the condition.

With this in mind, the VMD has contacted marketing authorisation holders who make the relevant UK authorised veterinary medicinal products indicated for the treatment/prevention of fly strike to confirm availability status of the products – and though supply of some may become “intermittent”, it said: “Alternative products are available.”

To address a supply problem, vets can – under the prescribing cascade – use a veterinary medicine authorised in the UK for use with another animal species or for another condition in the same species. However, if this option is not available, a human product authorised in the UK without any prior notification to the VMD may also be used.

If this is not possible, the next step involves vets applying to import an EU-authorised veterinary medicine or, failing this, a veterinary medicine authorised outside the EU – but only once the necessary import certificate has been obtained.

The veterinary surgeon may also decide to prescribe a medicine prepared extemporaneously – known as a “special”. However, the VMD insists these options should only be explored after attempts to obtain and use UK authorised products have been unsuccessful.

“The VMD would recommend UK veterinary surgeons contact the relevant marketing authorisation holder for further information on how to obtain available product(s),” the VMD said on its website. “Information on all veterinary medicinal products currently authorised in the UK is available from the VMD website.

“If veterinary surgeons are aware of any alternative EU-authorised products, import certificate applications may be submitted online.

“Each application will be assessed on its individual merits and is subject to the provision of suitable justification as to why currently available veterinary medicinal products are not suitable for use.”

For more information, visit the VMD’s website.

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