New Regulations, and recording the Reason for Prescribing

New Veterinary Medicines Regulations come into force on 17 May. AMTRA has developed a quick reference overview to highlight some of the key updates relevant to SQPs/RAMAs, including a new requirement for POM-VPS medicines to record the reason for prescribing the product.

SQP Code of Practice

The current SQP Code of Practice that AMTRA RAMAs must follow is that dated April 2017. AMTRA RAMA assessments are always based upon the Code of Practice currently in force. With new Veterinary Medicines Regulations coming into force on 17 May 2024, we anticipate a new Code of Practice will be issued later in 2024.

The SQP Code of Practice is, in legal terms, issued by the DEFRA Secretary of State, which in practice means the VMD.

It's a document which does a number of things:

  • it sets out what VMD expects of AMTRA
  • it quotes a few (but not all) relevant bits of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) which are legal obligations on RAMAs/SQPs
  • it clarifies or amplifies or adds to some of those legal requirements
  • it then adds a few other potentially relevant bits and pieces as further background
It's an important document and you as an AMTRA RAMA/SQP are expected to comply with it, but also with the Regulations more generally, and to take account of VMD’s guidance, plus where relevant guidance from SCOPS and COWS.

Over the years AMTRA has produced various bits of clarification and interpretation, often in response to queries from students or qualified RAMAs/SQPs, as well as seeking further clarification on some points direct from VMD.

We’ve decided to bring all this together into a single document which we hope will be more useful as a reference source whether you are studying to gain your AMTRA qualification, or are an experienced RAMA/SQP.

See also the inspection criteria, below, that were formerly published as part of the Code.

VMD guidance

In addition to abiding by the terms of the Code of Practice, RAMAs should follow the VMD's guidance, notably that offered on Retail of veterinary medicines (December 2018) - also in the front of the AMTRA RAMA Compendium.

Other guidance notes may also be of relevance and should be studied - see the full VMD list on the gov.uk website.

Inspection criteria
Guidance on responsible use of medicines
Pharmacovigilance (adverse events)
Other notes and guidance