The Independent Licensed Merchant Association (ILMA) has criticised the Department of Agriculture’s handling of the proposed changes to the way licensed animal medicines will be prescribed and dispensed after January 2022.
The proposed changes will see vets having to issue a prescription for all licensed anti-parasitic animal medicines to farmers.
The ILMA has argued that this will put many of its members out of business.
Speaking about the issue to the Irish Farmers Journal, Ian Scott, secretary general of the ILMA, said: “The level of communication between the Department and our members has been really disappointing.
We have had no communication with the Department on how the proposals will work since 27 April 2021
“We have put forward workable proposals on how vets and licensed merchants can prescribe these medicines, but we haven’t got a response to any of them.
“We have had no communication with the Department on how the proposals will work since 27 April 2021 and here we are, four months out from the changes and our members don’t know where to go.”
“We had an Oireachtas Committee of Agriculture report issuing 10 recommendations, but the Department of Agriculture has chosen to shelve the report and ignore its findings,” he claimed.
The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the Department is currently looking at a form of e-prescription or tele-medicine where a vet can issue a prescription to a farmer and they can purchase the products where they choose.
We want to find a solution, but our members say we have no other option
This has been welcomed by the ILMA, however it argues that there will be no flow of prescriptions to ILMA members, co-ops or veterinary pharmacies as is currently the case with this category of medicines.
“We want to find a solution, but our members say we have no other option but to look at protests as our next option to move the issue forward,” Scott said.