BEVA believes that 'Specials' have a limited but important role in the treatment of the horse given the limited availability of licensed medicines and the challenges of formulation when using either animal or human medical products.
We believe veterinary surgeons should only make use of specials only where no suitable product exists using the principles of the Cascade, or in exceptional cases where the supply of licensed products is interrupted.
Veterinary specials should not be used where a veterinary medicine licensed for use in horses or food animal species is available containing the same active substance unless the available route of administration is inappropriate in a specific animal.
In some cases, veterinary specials may be appropriate where human or veterinary medicines licensed for use in small animal are available, but their strength or formulation is inappropriate for use in specific cases.
Veterinary specials should be ordered directly from the manufacturer and not via a third party or wholesaler. Clients should be made aware that such products cannot be obtained from online veterinary pharmacies.
Clients should be made aware of the unauthorised status of the product and should be provided with detailed client information leaflets that detail potential adverse events as well as details about the limitations of veterinary specials. Examples are included on these pages.
Veterinary surgeons should ensure that they obtain specials from a reputable specials manufacturer that holds a Manufacturing Extemporaneous Products (Specials) Authorisation from the VMD and is compliant with principles of GMP.