The VMD has dropped controversial plans for a new POM EA veterinary medicines category, following ongoing lobbying by the British Veterinary Association and other veterinary bodies.
The UK’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has dropped controversial plans for a new POM EA veterinary medicines category (prescription-only medicine extended administration), following ongoing lobbying by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and other veterinary bodies.
The proposed category, which has been discussed at the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) since 2009, would have enabled a veterinary surgeon to 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.
However, the BVA and its specialist divisions opposed POM EA from the outset and argued that there was no justification for a new category, because:
- vets are already able to write prescriptions for extended use;
- as most health plans are reviewed annually, anything beyond a yearly assessment would be unacceptable on health and welfare grounds; and
- an additional category would take the UK even further out of step with the rest of the EU.
The VMD suggested revisions to the original proposal but stakeholders maintained that the new category was unnecessary, leading the VPC to decide – at a meeting in March – not to progress the proposal any further.
BVA president Harvey Locke said: “We are extremely pleased that the Veterinary Products Committee has listened to our concerns and decided to drop its plans for POM EA. The BVA felt strongly that the proposed new category was unnecessary at best and potentially harmful to animal health and welfare at worst.
“In all fields of practice veterinary surgeons would not feel comfortable prescribing for such long periods without regular contact with the animals they care for.”