Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) VMD News and Guidance

News and guidance on veterinary medicines issues affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

If Marketing Authorisation Holders become aware or foresee any issues with the supply of one of your products that will impact availability to UK end users, please inform us as soon as possible by completing the report a supply problem form and sending it to supply@vmd.gov.uk.

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How the VMD is operating due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The VMD remains open for business

We remain open for business in line with government advice and have changed our working practices so that our staff are working from home. We will be contactable as usual and will continue to operate our switchboard. However, if you have any difficulties contacting us by phone, please email your contacts or our general email address at postmaster@vmd.gov.uk which is monitored throughout the day.

If you are planning to send us anything by post you will need to notify us at postmaster@vmd.gov.uk first.

VMD Export Certificates being issued electronically

Until further notice, all export certificates will be issued electronically via email instead of hard copy. The electronic export certificate will contain our stamp and signature as usual for verification purposes. You may print and email this certificate onto your contacts in the UK and overseas.

Availability of veterinary medicines

We are monitoring the availability of authorised veterinary medicines in the UK during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The VMD and the pharmaceutical industry have well-established procedures to deal with supply issues that arise. For further information read the full news story Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - availability of veterinary medicines.

Manufacturers and suppliers of veterinary medicines have measures in place to enable the continued production and supply of medicines.

We encourage veterinary surgeons and retailers to continue with normal purchasing patterns to maintain proportionate stocks of veterinary medicines to support the availability of medicines.

Advice for the veterinary pharmaceutical industry and the veterinary profession from their representative organisations is at:

Veterinary practice and prescriptions

On 31 August we ended the temporary relaxation of the enforcement of specific provisions of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 (VMR) covering certain aspects of the prescribing and supply of veterinary medicines.

However, in view of the continuing and unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have issued statements allowing, in exceptional circumstances, for facilitations concerning the temporary change of veterinary practice and SQP retailer premises and the arrangements for SQPs for remote prescribing and authorisation of supply to be re-applied after 31 August where:

  • the veterinary practice premises (VPP)/SQP retailer is located in an area where the Government has deployed local lockdown measures requiring the premises to close; and/or
  • a veterinary surgeon/SQP needs to self-isolate as they have tested positive for the virus or due to contact tracing, or they have underlying health conditions requiring them to self-isolate.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) have issued guidance for veterinary professionals on how to continue to undertake veterinary work.

Inspections

VMD on-site inspections to re-start 24 August

In March we suspended on-site inspections of veterinary medicines manufacturers, wholesale dealers, veterinary practice premises, SQP retailers, feed businesses and marketing authorisation holders (including pharmacovigilance systems).

This has been kept under review and with the implementation of safety measures, we will resume on-site inspections from 24 August.

If your premise is due for an inspection we will notify you in the usual way to arrange your inspection.

On-site inspections of the pharmacovigilance (PhV) systems of Marketing Authorisation Holders will re-start at a later date. In the meantime, we will continue to inspect PhV systems remotely.

If you have any questions, please email inspections@vmd.gov.uk

Report a supply problem with a veterinary medicine

Published 30 April 2020
Last updated 3 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Information updated to Veterinary practice and prescriptions: the temporary change of veterinary practice and SQP retailer premises and the arrangements for SQPs for remote prescribing and authorisation of supply

  2. Amendment to Inspections section regarding re-start of inspections on 24 August

  3. Revision of Vet Practice and Prescriptions section; added link to information (effective from 1 September 2020) on temporary VMD enforcement policy under specific circumstances in response to COVID‐19

  4. Facilitations date changed to 31 August

  5. Date of temporary facilitations changed to 31 July

  6. The temporary facilitations mentioned will last until 30 June when they will be reviewed.

  7. First published.