The VMD’s decision to ban the advertising of antimicrobial drugs directly to animal keepers is “a sensible approach to the responsible use of antimicrobials”, claims the BVA.

Pharmaceutical companies will no longer be able to advertise antimicrobial drugs directly to animal keepers.

VMDThe Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has announced the Veterinary Medicines Regulations will be revised next year after the European Commission ruled the UK did not correctly transpose the European Directive 2001/82/EC prohibiting the advertising of certain veterinary medicinal products to the “general public”.

When the VMD consulted on proposals to restrict the advertising of antimicrobials to farmers in 2010, the BVA supported the measure as a sensible approach to the responsible use of antimicrobials.

In a letter to stakeholders, the VMD explained: “A number of interested parties from veterinary medicine hold the view that the advertising of antibiotics to keepers of animals leads to undue pressure to prescribe newer antibiotics, which can often be important in human medicine and is associated with the development of multiple resistances.”

BVA president Peter Harlech Jones.BVA president Peter Jones said: “The BVA has consistently argued for the restriction of advertising of antimicrobials to animal keepers and we believe this is the right decision.

“New antimicrobials are heavily advertised by pharmaceutical companies and there can be undue pressure put on veterinary surgeons by clients who want to try new products that promise good results, but that may not be appropriate from the point of view of responsible use.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a very serious issue for both animal and human health and we are pleased that the European Commission and the VMD have taken the view that the regulations need to be revised.”

He concluded: “Ultimately, it is the veterinary surgeon who will make the decision on which veterinary products to use and vets will continue to work with their farm clients to ensure antimicrobials are used prudently and responsibly.”

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