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Coronavirus Outbreak - Temporary changes to the Regulation of Veterinary Medicines

Temporary relaxation of certain provisions of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has taken a number of measures in light of the enhanced precautions in force during the Coronavirus pandemic to temporarily relax the enforcement of certain provisions of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 (VMR) to facilitate the continued supply of veterinary medicines.

These measures and the procedures that need to be followed are described in the statements found on our GOV.UK site - VMD’s news and guidance on veterinary medicines issues affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Following a review, the VMD has confirmed these temporary measures will be extended until 31 May when they will be reviewed.

Veterinarians will temporarily be allowed to:

  • delegate the retail supply of veterinary medicines to internet retailers or wholesale dealers for delivery directly to the end-user
  • supply veterinary medicines from temporary premises.

Suitably Qualified Persons (SQPs) will temporarily be allowed to:

  • prescribe and authorise the supply of veterinary medicines remotely
  • supply veterinary medicines from temporary premises.

Manufacturers (ManSA holders) of extemporaneous preparations for use under the cascade will temporarily be allowed to:

  • supply extemporaneous products directly to the end user following certain procedures.

The VMR continue to apply and will be enforced as usual.

Postponement of on-site inspections

We have postponed on-site inspections of veterinary medicines manufacturers, wholesale dealers, veterinary practice premises, SQP retailers, feed businesses and marketing authorisation holders (including pharmacovigilance systems) until further notice.
In the meantime, where possible, we will conduct office-based assessments (remote inspections) to assess compliance with the VMR.

Pharmaceutical industry and veterinary profession guidance

The representative bodies of the pharmaceutical industry and veterinary professions have published guidance for their members on Coronavirus. Please see links below.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

British Veterinary Association (BVA)

National Office for Animal Health (NOAH)