Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
248. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the implementation of changes to the prescription of veterinary medicine that are due to come into effect in January 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59636/21]
Last week, I set out a roadmap for the implementation of the new EU-wide Veterinary Medicinal Regulation 2019/6. While the Regulation will come into effect on 28thJanuary 2022, in response to the concerns of stakeholders, I have decided to defer implementation of one aspect – that anti-parasitic medicines can only be supplied on foot of a veterinary prescription - until 1st June 2022. This will enable all stakeholders make the necessary business and/or infrastructural adjustments that will ensure compliance with the Regulations.
The move has been well received by all stakeholders and I thank all of them for their continued positive engagement in the matter.
While the new National Veterinary Prescription System (NVPS) will be in place as planned for the end of January, its mandatory use will also be delayed until 1st June to allow for a smooth transition to compliance. for this same period.
The new veterinary medicines regulations are focused on ensuring increased availability of veterinary medicines across the EU, as well as addressing the key societal One Health One Welfare challenges of anti-microbial resistance, as well as anti-parasitic resistance.
The roadmap is as follows:
1. The Regulations come into effect on 28thJanuary.
2. The new requirements regarding the prescribing of antimicrobials, including antibiotics, and medicated feed, will come into effect on that date.
3. The requirement to only supply anti-parasitic medicines on foot of a veterinary prescription is deferred for a four-month period – until 1stJune 2022. A prescription will not be required for such products until that date.
4. The national mandatory requirement to use the NVPS is deferred until 1stJune 2022. Veterinary practitioners can continue to issue paper-based prescriptions in the current format until then.
5. The NVPS will be available for voluntary use by vets from the end of January onwards – to ensure that prescribers and dispensers are familiar with the system when its use becomes compulsory.
6. Prescriptions issued by vets for anti-parasitic medicines after 1stJune will be valid for a maximum period of 12-months. Antiparasitic medicines can then be purchased by the farmer from his or her preferred supplier at the appropriate time throughout the period that the prescription is valid.
7. From 1stJune 2022, the Regulations will be applied in full.
I have asked my officials to explore the issue of interchangeable anti-parasitics, and more information will be available on this in the coming weeks. I have made these amendments to help farmers, vets, pharmacists and licensed merchants transition to the new regulations.