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Veterinary Medicines
Importing medicines: the VMD's special import and special treatment schemes
  1. Scott Price, Veterinary Medicines Directorate
  1. Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3LS
  1. e-mail: s.price{at}

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To enable the legal importation of medicines under the prescribing cascade, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) introduced the Special Import Certificate and the Special Treatment Certificate schemes. Scott Price of the VMD explains how they work

EU CONTROLS on the regulation of veterinary medicinal products recognise that the range of species and diseases to be treated means that it will be uneconomic for an authorised medicine to be available in all circumstances. The legislation therefore allows other products to be used when no authorised veterinary medicine is available (the prescribing ‘cascade’ [see VR, January 1/8, 2011, vol 168, pp 8–9]). Veterinarians are able to import authorised veterinary medicinal products from other member states, and the UK legislation extends this provision to authorised veterinary medicinal products from countries outside the EU and authorised human medicines from outside the UK.

To facilitate and control these imports, the VMD introduced the Special Import Certificate (SIC) and Special Treatment Certificate (STC) schemes. If the product is fully authorised as a veterinary medicine and is being imported from within the EU, the SIC scheme applies. If a product is to be imported from outside the EU, or is a human product, the STC scheme applies.

Scope of the schemes

Where there is no authorised veterinary medicinal product in the UK that would be suitable to treat a particular condition, and when the health situation so requires, a veterinary surgeon may wish to seek an import certificate to obtain a veterinary medicinal product authorised in another EU member state or, failing this, from outside …

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