The VMD has agreed to a request from the Marketing Authorisation Holder Zoetis UK Limited to change the legal distribution category of this anthelmintic (i.e. wormer) for sheep.
Startect Dual Active Oral Solution is authorised for the treatment and control of mixed gastro-intestinal nematode infections and associated diseases of sheep.
The legal distribution category of this product was changed from POM-V to POM-VPS on 24 August 2017. This means that pharmacists and suitably qualified persons (SQPs), as well as vets, are now legally permitted to prescribe this anthelmintic.
Increasing the availability of this anthelmintic should help it to be incorporated into strategic worm control programmes on farms in line with best practice guidance on worm control. This could result in long term health benefits for sheep, for example by reducing the development and spread of anthelmintic resistance, thereby prolonging the effective use of anthelmintics.
Prescribers should contact Zoetis UK Limited if they require more information regarding the availability of this product.
Making sure anthelmintics are used properly
Making sure anthelmintics continue to be effective is essential for the long term health, welfare and productivity of animals. The volume and appropriateness of use of all anthelmintics significantly influences the rate of development of anthelmintic resistance in the target parasites. Anthelmintics must therefore be used appropriately to minimise further development of resistance.
Farm animal SQPs will have additional training to ensure they are sufficiently familiar with Startect and how to prescribe it effectively and responsibly so that it is used appropriately. A new compulsory training module is being implemented by The Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) to augment the skills of all AMTRA-registered SQPs permitted to prescribe farm animal products. New SQPs will be required to undertake a revised and extended module before gaining their farm animal registration with AMTRA.
Monitoring anthelmintic resistance
Farmers and prescribers should report any suspected adverse events or lack of efficacy to any anthelmintic to the VMD. This is essential in order to understand the prevalence and nature of anthelmintic resistance and to inform prescribing decisions.