The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and its divisions have combined forces to oppose a new veterinary medicines category proposed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

Vets say no to proposed medicine categoryThe VMD published a ‘concept note’ for comment which suggests a new category of POM-EA (Extended Administration) under which a veterinary surgeon would make a clinical assessment and, if appropriate, issue a Veterinary Permission of Extended Administration (VPEA) allowing the animal holder to obtain the prescribed POM-EA medicine (from a veterinarian, pharmacist or SQP) for up to 36 months from the date of authorisation.

Following the publication of the concept note the BVA’s Medicines Group met to discuss the implications of the new category and the views of BVA members which had been submitted.

The Medicines Group strongly rejected the VMD’s proposal for the POM-EA category and failed to see that there was any justification for a new category. The group felt the new category was unnecessary as veterinarians are already able to write prescriptions for extended use and that, as most health plans are reviewed annually, anything beyond a yearly assessment would be unacceptable on health and welfare grounds. An additional category would also take the UK even further out of step with the rest of the EU.

The current proposals cover a range of cattle and sheep medicines and the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA), Pig Veterinary Society (PVS) and Sheep Veterinary Society (SVS) are strongly in support of the BVA’s submission to the VMD.

Bill ReillyAlthough the concept note does not cover small animal or equine medicines the BVA, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) are concerned that the new category must be opposed at the earliest opportunity as its inclusion would have a potentially negative impact on companion and equine animal welfare.

BVA president Bill Reilly said: “Although this is not a formal consultation the BVA and its divisions want to send a strong message to the VMD that a new category is unnecessary at best and potentially harmful at worst.

“Veterinarians across all fields of practice would simply not feel comfortable with prescribing for such long periods without regular contact with the animals they care for. We hope the VMD takes note of the strong feeling against these proposals.”

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