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THE Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has announced that, from next year, the advertising of antimicrobial products to professional keepers of animals, and the advertising of prescription-only medicines to the owners or keepers of horses, will be prohibited. The ban is to be introduced as part of the process of revising the Veterinary Medicines Regulations in 2013.
The announcement was made on October 11 and followed a formal objection by the European Commission (EC) about how the UK had implemented part of the European directive governing the regulation of veterinary medicinal products in all European member states. The directive prohibits the advertising of prescription-only veterinary medicines to the ‘general public’.
The VMD notes that, when the UK implemented the European directive, it took the view that people who derived an income from rearing animals were professional keepers of animals and that, in this role, they were distinct from the general public. It took the view that advertising was one way of keeping professional animal keepers informed about veterinary medicines.
However, the VMD says that the EC has …
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