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Support grows for official name change to recognise Registered Animal Medicines Advisors

Support continues to grow across the animal health sector for a move to better reflect and recognise the crucial role of registered professionals qualified to prescribe and supply animal medicines, by formally changing the title for these qualified individuals to Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs).

In an initiative driven by regulatory body AMTRA to change the official title from the current legal term Suitably Qualified Person (SQP), increasing numbers of industry bodies are supporting the move and introducing the term, ahead of what AMTRA hopes will be an official change when the UK Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) are updated in 2023.

Stephen Dawson, AMTRA secretary general explains, “We are delighted to see so many other industry organisations, bodies and animal health companies now adopting the title RAMA and wanting to help the push for an official name change.”

There has been growing use of the term from various industry bodies including AHDA, NADIS, SCOPS, and COWS. Vetskill, as a fellow regulator, has confirmed its longstanding support for such a change. Global animal health business Zoetis has recently launched RAMA Connect, a new platform to help meet the business needs of RAMAs through training tools, seasonal campaigns and various other resources to help RAMAs make the most of their role.

AMTRA RAMAs/SQPs are legally entitled to prescribe and/or supply certain veterinary medicines under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations, with qualification modules covering farm animal, equine, companion animal and avian categories.

Mr Dawson says, “This is a subject that has been on our radar for some time, as we do not feel the name SQP reflects the abilities of those that have passed through the training and qualification, and also maintain their CPD and on-going learning. Animal owners do not understand the initials ‘SQP’ but nor do they understand ‘Suitably Qualified Person’ which is very vague.

“Registered Animal Medicines Advisor, or RAMA, more accurately qualifies the important role these individuals play in part of a wider animal health plan, and we are pleased to see the enthusiasm across the sector to support the move,” he adds.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is progressing with its project to update the UK VMR, and is engaging with stakeholders, including AMTRA, about how this is achieved.