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UK Regulators Drop Plans For New Medicine Category

VMD will not continue plans for new veterinary medicinee.

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The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) chose to abandon plans for a new veterinary medicine category called prescription-only medicine extended administration (POM EA), which had been viewed by many as controversial. This decision came after heavy lobbying by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and other veterinary bodies.

The proposed category has been discussed in the Veterinary Products Committee since 2009. The original purpose was to provide a new category under which a veterinarian would make a clinical assessment and if necessary issue a Veterinary Permission of Extended Administration allowing the animal owner to obtain the prescribed POM EA medicine for up to 36 months from the date of authorization. 

The BVA, along with its specialist divisions, opposed POM EA saying there wasn’t justification for a new category. Veterinarians are already able to write prescriptions for extended use. BVA states that anything beyond a yearly assessment would be unacceptable on health and welfare grounds.

The BVA submitted written comments and attended a stakeholder meeting with the VMD to discuss concerns. Despite the VMD suggesting revisions to the original proposal, the BVA and other stakeholders maintained that the new category was unnecessary. The decision to discontinue the proposal was then concluded.

“We are extremely pleased that the Veterinary Products Committee has listened to our concerns and decided to drop its plans for POM EA,” says Harvey Locke, president of the BVA. “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.”

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