The DAFM is working to develop a National Veterinary Prescribing System to “ensure Irish farmers are empowered to purchase medicines from their supplier of choice”.
That is according to Minister Charlie McConalogue, who answered a parliamentary question Cork North West TD, Aindrias Moynihan, raised on anti-parasitic treatments becoming prescription-only medicines (POM) in January 2022.
Moynihan asked the minister if he had considered the additional costs to farmers that this move will carry.
In response, Minister McConalogue said:
“There are savings to be made by farmers in having healthier herds that require fewer anti-parasitics. This is good for the pocket, good for the environment and good for animal health. “
He said the treatment of animals with anti-parasitics is often a management tool and not an emergency treatment. As a result, this can be planned for with a farmer’s vet.
“Vets and farmers may combine a visit to discuss anti-parasitic needs with other routinely scheduled visits.”
“Farmers have close working relationships with their veterinary practitioners. Farmers will not require a veterinary practitioner to be out on their farm every time animals need to be dosed.”
He said the DAFM is “actively working” with stakeholders to sustain a competitive market for the supply of these products.
The minister outlined that the aforementioned NVPS will result in a prescription being made available to a farmer by email or SMS.
“Farmers can then engage with licensed merchants, veterinary pharmacists or their veterinary practitioner in getting their prescription dispensed.”
“I also intend to allow for generic/alternative veterinary medicines to be dispensed based on the active substances on the prescription.”
He said this will “further reduce” costs for farmers and suppliers of veterinary medicines alike.