The VMD is the UK government agency responsible for the controls on veterinary medicines in the UK, including their authorisation, manufacture, and supply.
Authorisation and classification of veterinary medicines:
Any product in the UK that makes a veterinary medicinal claim must be authorised. You can tell if a veterinary medicine is authorised as it will include English language labelling that it is important that you read and understand. The label will include a unique UK marketing authorisation number, which will appear in one of the following formats:
Alternatively, the product may include a statement "This veterinary medicine is marketed in accordance with Schedule 6 of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations - Exemptions for small pet animals" or similar on the label and packaging.
Authorised Veterinary Medicines
There are four classifications of authorised veterinary medicines:
Prescription-only Medicine – Veterinarian (abbreviated to POM-V)
Prescription-only Medicine – Veterinarian, Pharmacist, Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) (abbreviated to POM-VPS)
Non-Food Animal – Veterinarian, Pharmacist, Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) (abbreviated to NFA-VPS)
Authorised Veterinary Medicine – General Sales List (abbreviated to AVM-GSL)
You can use the VMD’s Product Information Database to check if a product is authorised and its classification, or to search for a UK-authorised veterinary medicine. The search facility allows you to search by trade name, active substance, species, legal classification and many other options. Each product has a Summary of Product Characteristics (SPCs) that tells you all about the medicine.
Alter a prescription issued by a vet, pharmacist or SQP e.g.
change the date the prescription was signed
change the quantity of the product
include additional medicines
Fraudulently produce a prescription e.g.
forge a prescription
forge the signature of a vet, pharmacist or SQP
send the same prescription to multiple retailers
Our RQP carefully checks all prescriptions and will report suspected prescription misuse to the VMD or the police.
What to do if your pet suffers an adverse reaction:
No medicine is risk free and all medicines have the potential to cause adverse effects. Some of the adverse effects are known about and these are explained in the product’s SPC. Others that may only rarely occur or are specific for certain breeds or groups of animals may only be seen when the products are used more widely.
If you suspect that you or your animal has had an adverse reaction to a veterinary medicine, or you think the medicine hasn’t worked as it should have done, report it to the VMD using the form available via the link below:
If you have a complaint about the quality of a veterinary medicine, please contact us in the first instance. You can find our complaints policy in our Terms and Conditions and our Complaints page. However, if you feel that we haven’t resolved your complaint satisfactorily, you can contact the VMD; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that the VMD will only consider complaints about veterinary medicines, not about service, delivery or cost and not about non-medicinal products.