The supply and advertising of veterinary medicines in Ireland is controlled by national and European legislation. Strict rules exist regarding the advertising of veterinary medicines.
The competent authority for the advertising of veterinary medicines in Ireland is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Under national legislation (Regulation 37 of SI No 786 of 2007) it is illegal to advertise a veterinary medicine unless that product has been authorised. It is also illegal to advertise or promote the use of a veterinary medicine in contravention of its marketing authorisation. As the HPRA is the competent authority that set the conditions of use of veterinary medicines authorised nationally, the HPRA can advise on whether a medicine is being advertised in contravention of its marketing authorisation.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (as the body which regulates the distribution of veterinary medicines in Ireland) has the primary role in monitoring the supply and promotion of veterinary medicines. That body may consult or refer such matters to the HPRA for opinion. National legislation allows the supply of certain restricted categories of veterinary medicines by persons that have been licensed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and granted an internet retail licence. It is a requirement of that licence that the Department’s approved licence number is displayed on the website. Only veterinary medicines designated with a route of sale a follows may be sold or supplied under an internet sales licence:
• Licensed Merchant (LM)
• Companion Animal Medicine (CAM)
EU and national legislation prohibit the advertising of veterinary medicinal products that are supplied under prescription to farmers and the general public. It is not permitted to advertise a veterinary medicine in contravention of, or outside of, the terms of the marketing authorisation granted by the HPRA or, in the case of centrally authorised veterinary medicines, the European Medicines Agency. Veterinary medicines of non‐prescription status can be directly advertised to farmers and the general public.