Appeal against the illegal sale of veterinary medicines

POLPROWET and the National Medical and Veterinary Chamber appealed to the Chief Veterinary Officer to intervene in the issue of illegal advertising and to facilitate the sale of prescription veterinary drugs over the Internet. Polish and European law allows online trading of OTC medicines for animals, but it is not possible to buy prescription medicines online. Despite this, there are advertisements on the web about the possibility of such a purchase.

Recently, KIL-W and POLPROWET have been receiving more and more information about suspicious advertisements and mail order offers of veterinary medicines on various internet portals. Importantly, the offers and advertisements mainly relate to prescription drugs, but contain information about the possibility of obtaining them over the Internet without a prescription. In the advertisements you will read such slogans as: “Only with us veterinary medicines without a prescription.”

– Buying such drugs may not only be illegal, but simply dangerous. With regard to such products, for example, it is impossible to trace the origin, authenticity, best before date or storage and transport conditions, and these are the fundamental conditions that affect the safety of the medicine. and the health of patients – explains the drug. veterinary surgeon. Marek Mastlerek, President of the National Medical and Veterinary Chamber.

The consequences of such an action are not limited to health. As lawyers point out, this practice also has criminal consequences.

Any suspected illegal trade in veterinary medicines must be reported to the veterinary inspection authorities. The marketing of counterfeit or unregistered products, which have medicinal properties, is contrary to applicable law. In addition, the Medicines Act stipulates that manufacture, import and wholesale without the required license is subject to a fine, restriction of freedom or imprisonment of 3 months to 5 years.† – says Filip Dymitrowski, trainee lawyer at Moyers.

The growing number of illegal offers of this type has raised concerns among industry associations, who have called for a joint development of a systemic solution to intervene in such cases.

– The provisions governing the sale of medicinal products, including veterinary medicinal products, are intended to protect consumers and their animals. However, actions taken by those responsible for such dubious advertisements may violate pharmaceutical law, including criminal law provisions that penalize public advertising of prescription drugs. We want the environment, together with the Chief Veterinary Officer and relevant services, to develop systemic solutions to prevent such practices – summarized Radosław Knap, Secretary General of POLPROWET.

As of January 28, 2022, there will be a change in the provisions on the distance sale of over-the-counter veterinary medicinal products (OTC). However, this possibility is strictly controlled and does not apply to prescription drugs. The Chief Veterinary Officer’s list currently lists 86 entities from across the country, but even they are not allowed to sell prescription veterinary drugs online.

It is worth recalling that the European Commission has introduced a special logo – mandatory to be placed on the website for sellers who register their business in accordance with the law. The logo on the seller’s website must also contain a hyperlink to the list of retailers authorized to offer veterinary medicinal products for sale at a distance. In the absence of such a logo and registration of the seller in the register, the purchase may not be made.

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