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Lea Reynolds of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate answers some frequently asked questions about ‘veterinary specials’, and suggests where those who might need to use a special medicinal preparation can find further information
What are veterinary specials?
Veterinary specials are bespoke extemporaneous preparations that are specially manufactured to order for a specific animal under the clinical direction of a veterinary surgeon. These prescription-only medicines do not hold a marketing authorisation from the VMD, but can legally be used under the prescribing cascade.
As a general rule, a veterinary special should not contain the same active ingredient, at the same level, in the same dosage form (for example, tablet or injection) as an available authorised medicinal product.
Where do veterinary specials fall under the cascade?
The provisions of the prescribing cascade are set out in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR). The cascade is a risk-based decision tree that acts as a guide to veterinary surgeons on which medicines they should use when there is no …