In the European Union, an effective and rigorous examination and registration system exists for placing veterinary medicinal products on the market. The EU registration process (a.k.a. marketing authorisation process) ensures that only those products meeting defined standards of quality, safety and efficacy, which have been thoroughly tested and carefully reviewed by independent experts, reach the marketplace. Check-out our infographic on how veterinary medicines come to market.
This is a lengthy and complex procedure and is ultimately designed to protect the public, animals and the environment from poor quality or unsafe medicines. The links below outline the steps involved in this process.
Registration is the precondition for placing a product on the market. The registration process for human and veterinary medicinal products dates back to the 1965 European Community Medicines Directive, which laid down three basic criteria on which decisions regarding marketing authorisation are based. They are:
Over the past 40 years, requirements in terms of these three criteria have been updated continually in line with advances in scientific knowledge.
The process requires applicants to submit data supporting the safety, quality and efficacy of a product in a detailed Dossier, which is reviewed by an independent scientific committee working on behalf of the governmental agency. The scientific review examines all aspects of the product, and includes a detailed risk-benefit analysis. Only after passing this review and being declared safe, of high quality and efficacious, may a product be offered for sale.
The safety and efficacy of the product are monitored closely following its entry into the marketplace, under statutory post-marketing surveillance or Pharmacovigilance programmes. The quality is monitored via Good Manufacturing Practice inspections and sampling and testing programmes. The authorities have the right to restrict conditions of use or even withdraw a product from the market if they believe it poses any risk to consumers, users, animals or the environment.