Upcoming Changes to Labeling of Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medically Important Antimicrobials

Veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use is being strengthened in Canada as part of the fight against antimicrobial resistance. This means important changes for you as a practitioner and for the veterinary profession.

Health Canada is moving a number of Medically Important Antimicrobials (MIAs) approved for veterinary use before 2004 to the Prescription Drug List (PDL). With this change, Health Canada will establish the same level of oversight for those MIAs approved before 2004 as for those approved after.

As of December 1, 2018, all MIAs for veterinary use will be on the PDL and must be sold by prescription only.

Other regulatory amendments made by Health Canada include:

  • Ending Own Use Importation of MIA by animal owners effective November 13, 2017;
  • Increased oversight and new rules for the handling of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients for veterinary use starting May 17, 2018;
  • Mandatory reporting of sales information related to MIA; and
  • New requirements and the expansion of the veterinary health products program to increase access to alternative animal health products for production animals
Questions about the regulatory and policy changes? Visit the Health Canada website. Contact them at [email protected]. Questions on the management of the inventory of medically important antimicrobials during the transition to December 1, 2018? Find it here.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), along with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) and other stakeholders, have been engaging with Health Canada’s Veterinary Drugs Directorate about these changes and will continue to support these actions with ongoing engagement and communication.

Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobial Use – A Pan-Canadian Framework for Professional Standards for Veterinarians

After broad stakeholder consultation and discussion, the Canadian Council of Veterinary Registrars and the CVMA’s Veterinary Pharmaceutical Stewardship Advisory Group developed a pan-Canadian framework of professional standards for veterinarians regarding veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use. It is available for download here.