The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has today launched its Accredited Internet Retailer Scheme with the award of the VMD's first Accredited Internet Retailer logos to 7 retailers responsible for a total of 10 websites selling veterinary medicines.
In welcoming the first retailers to be accredited, Professor Pete Borriello, Chief Executive of the VMD said:
"The VMD's Accredited Internet Retailer Scheme will be of great help to people who want to buy appropriate and effective medicines for their animals from the internet. It gives them confidence that they are dealing with VMD accredited retailers whose websites and retail operations have been inspected against the UK's Veterinary Medicines Regulations. This will significantly reduce the risk of people buying veterinary medicines that are not authorised for use in the UK or are not suitable for their animals.
It is excellent news for animal owners that 10 websites have achieved accreditation. The VMD is keen to see even more retailers apply for accreditation so that owners have even more assurance about the medicines they are buying for their animals.''
The scheme has also been welcomed by the following organisations involved with animal health and welfare: the Animal Health Distributors Association (AHDA), the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA), the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS),
Accredited sites will dsplay a logo (as above) that will assure customers buying medicines online for their animals that:
- The retailer has voluntarily applied for and been granted accreditation
- The VMD has inspected the website and found that it complies with the Accreditation Scheme's requirements and the Veterinary Medicines Regulations
- There is less risk of buying an unauthorised veterinary medicine
- There is less risk of buying inappropriate or ineffective veterinary medicines.
The logo contains a unique number. Customers can confirm accreditation by clicking on the logo to access the Internet Retailer database on the VMD's website (www.vmd.defra.gov.uk) to verify that the logo is genuine and the retailer is accredited.
The VMD claims that the scheme gives people buying medicines for animals on the internet more assurance about the company they are buying from. In particular, the VMD hopes that the Scheme will provide assurance that the company is selling veterinary medicines:
- with the advice of a veterinary surgeon, pharmacist or Suitably Qualified Person
- that are authorised for use in animals in the UK
The VMD has designed the Scheme to provide legitimate retailers with an easy and free way of demonstrating that they comply with the law thus facilitating self regulation by UK based internet retailers selling veterinary medicines. Any retailer who is signed up to the scheme who subsequently breaches the Scheme's criteria will lose its accreditation.
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