28/05/2012

VMD launches vet medicine website accreditation

The VMD has launched a voluntary accreditation scheme for online vet medicines retailers to "significantly reduce the risk" of people buying products that are not authorised for use in the UK or are unsuitable for their animals.

The VMD has launched a voluntary accreditation scheme for online vet medicines retailers to "significantly reduce the risk" of people buying products that are not authorised for use in the UK or are unsuitable for their animals.
 
VMDThe VMD's Accredited Internet Retailer Scheme is the regulator's way of facilitating self regulation by UK based internet retailers selling veterinary medicines classified as:

  • Prescription Only Medicine – Veterinarian (POM-V)
  • Prescription Only Medicine – Veterinarian, Pharmacist, Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) (POM-VPS)
  • Non-Food Animal – Veterinarian, Pharmacist, SQP (NFA-VPS).


The scheme, which launched May 25, involves a website assessment and on-site inspection to check ongoing compliance with the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.

On launch, the VMD awarded 7 internet retailers with a logo to show they have met the criteria for accreditation under the scheme, which will be displayed on the retailers' websites. Each logo contains a retailer's unique accreditation number, which links directly to its entry in the register of accredited internet retailers on the VMD's website, allowing potential customers to check the status of the internet retailer.

VMD chief executive Pete BorrielloVMD chief executive, Prof Pete Borriello, said: "The VMD's Accredited Internet Retailer Scheme will be of great help to people who want to buy appropriate and effective medicines for their animals from the internet. It gives them confidence that they are dealing with VMD accredited retailers whose websites and retail operations have been inspected against the UK's Veterinary Medicines Regulations. This will significantly reduce the risk of people buying veterinary medicines that are not authorised for use in the UK or are not suitable for their animals.

"It is excellent news for animal owners that 10 websites have achieved accreditation. The VMD is keen to see even more retailers apply for accreditation so that owners have a wide choice of legitimate and reputable retailers."

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) supports the scheme, but is also calling for more robust measures to stop prescription fraud and is in discussions with the VMD.
 
BVA past president Harvey Locke said: "The scheme is a very welcome positive step in protecting the public from illegal sites, but in future we would like to see it becoming compulsory so that everyone can be confident that they are buying products that are safe for their animals and themselves."

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