The Veterinary Medicines Directorate has published plans to modernise the Veterinary Medicines Regulations and maintain the UK as an attractive place to develop and market veterinary medicines.
The Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 set out the controls on the marketing, manufacture, distribution, possession and administration of veterinary medicines and medicated feed. They are a critical tool to help protect animal health, public health and the environment.
The government response – which follows an eight-week public consultation last year – includes plans to modernise the regulations with requirements that reflect developments in the industry and reduce regulatory burden where possible.
Updates include encouraging the submission and marketing of new and innovative products to help increase medicine availability and introducing further measures to help reduce the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance.
Overall, the proposals in the consultation received widespread support from the veterinary medicines sector, and most of the proposals will be implemented. The government has listened to the feedback from respondents and amended proposals where necessary to ensure they are fit for purpose.
The changes will provide improved clarity and consistency in the regulations, meaning more certainty for those involved in the health and welfare of animals.
Abi Seager, veterinary medicine directorate chief executive officer, said: “We are grateful to everyone who took the time to provide considered responses to our consultation.
“We are pleased with the support for the proposed changes. Where the feedback identified disproportionate impacts on certain businesses or unintended consequences on animal health and welfare, we have acted and amended our proposals.
“We look forward to continuing engagement with all our stakeholders and support them through the implementation of the upcoming changes.”
The new Regulations build upon wider work on antimicrobial resistance outlined in the UK’s 20-year vision to contain and control antimicrobial resistance by 2024, delivered through the UK’s 5 year National Action Plan for AMR.
The recent UK-Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance and Sales Surveillance (VARSS) Report showed that sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals fell by nearly 10 percent in the last year and have fallen by 59 percent since 2014.