The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has introduced a microchip adverse reaction scheme in preparation for compulsory microchipping in England and Wales.

The scheme was launched at BSAVA Congress by the VMD’s pharmacovigilance unit.
The launch of the scheme follows the announcement in February 2013 that all dogs in England must be microchipped from April 6, 2016 with similar rules to come into place in Wales from March 1, 2015.
Speaking about the scheme was VMD quality and communications manager Matthew Isted, who said the Government agency is taking over a scheme initiated by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Microchip Advisory Group and continued by the Microchip Trade Association (MTA) because of its work in monitoring adverse events in veterinary medicines.
“It is not compulsory to report medicinal adverse events, yet the profession has embraced it and we get the highest reporting rates in Europe,” said Mr Isted. 
“It is partly for that reason the MTA asked us if we would take over and set up a scheme for microchips.
“We will not be regulating the market, unlike medicines where we are the ones who take a decision to remove a product from the market. We will contact individual companies or the MTA to see if there is a problem or if it can be taken further. 
“It seems only right that there is a satisfactory way to keep an eye on chip quality and the way they are being inserted.”
Adverse reactions are to be classified into three main categories, typified as:

  • implantation reactions linked to the procedure
  • microchip migration
  • microchip failure
According to MTA chairman Fred Nind, if consistent problems linked to implantation are found then the individuals concerned will be contacted directly.
“I see this as a really useful benefit of the scheme,” he said. 
“If they are implanting modest numbers of microchips and a large proportion of those are going wrong, there is the opportunity with this system to contact an individual and tell them they need to do more training or stop implanting microchips.”
For ease of use and accessibility, an online form will be available for pet owners, veterinary professionals and other chip implanters to report problems.
Details of the scheme and leaflets are available from the VMD website 
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