Distribution categories – clarification and reminder

AMTRA has issued a clarification and reminder of what is expected of its SQPs, including during the examination process (written and oral).

AMTRA SQPs may supply products in the distribution categories POM-VPS, NFA-VPS and AVM-GSL, consistent with the species modules held as part of their personal AMTRA registration.

Almost all farm-animal and horse medicines are prescription-only and thus either POM-V or POM-VPS, but there are a few AVM-GSL medicines for these species.

Companion-animal products are usually POM-V (prescribed by a veterinary surgeon), NFA-VPS (supplied by an SQP, or vet or pharmacist) or AVM-GSL (available anywhere).

But AMTRA notes that it is important to remember that there are a few POM-VPS companion animal products – and there could be more in future.

Currently the nature of the companion-animal medicines that are classified POM-VPS means they are relatively unlikely to be prescribed by an SQP (usually they will be prescribed by a vet), but there is every legal right to do so, provided it is done with sufficient knowledge to be acting professionally. But in future, we might see others such as antiparasitic POM-VPS medicines.

Those medicines that are POM-VPS must be prescribed with appropriate knowledge and not just supplied, and the required records kept – record-keeping requirements being different for prescription-only medicines (see paragraph 42 of the SQP Code of Practice).

All AMTRA SQPs, regardless of species category, should understand the requirements of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations, the Code of Practice (paragraph 18 onwards) and the VMD’s Retail Guidance. That should encompass prescription, including the obligations of the prescribing process, written prescriptions and record-keeping.