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By NOAH
By NOAH

Strengthening GB Veterinary Medicines Regulations with One Health

NOAH

4 min read Partner content

NOAH is committed to working with the government and industry partners to champion holistic approaches to disease prevention, environmental conservation, and public health

The draft GB Veterinary Medicines Regulations have now been laid before Parliament, meaning the updated legislation required by the UK animal medicines industry is a welcome step closer. This progress needs to be underpinned by wider policy commitments that are highly relevant to the sector’s future and founded on One Health principles.

A Plan for GB Veterinary Medicines Regulations

NOAH, the National Office of Animal Health, was pleased to contribute to and welcome the government’s response to the GB Veterinary Medicines Regulations Review consultation. The plans demonstrate the government’s collaboration with industry and reflect the diverse needs of perspectives within the sector to the benefit of the health and welfare of the nation’s animals. 

The response acknowledged several key areas that would adversely impact animal health and welfare, and we welcome the commitment to reducing the regulatory burden on animal health companies. It is therefore important that the regulations progress to statute, and NOAH will continue to engage with policymakers to demonstrate the value that a new regulatory framework can provide to encourage the development and authorisation of new veterinary medicines in Britain.

Sustainable Regulation: Integrating One Health Policy

One Health identifies the interdependent relationship between animal, human and environmental health. Veterinary medicines and solutions support the UK’s sustainability objectives and improve human health by helping to protect animals from potentially harmful disease outbreaks that would impact human health and the environment.

Veterinary medicines also help to deliver sustainable farming to assure food supply and security and to protect the UK from new and emerging diseases. Veterinary medicines are therefore pivotal to One Health, and the animal health industry is dedicated to pursuing a One Health approach.

NOAH’s recent drop in event at Portcullis House presented a great opportunity to discuss One Health with the Minister for Biosecurity, Animal Health and Welfare.

NOAH drop in
NOAH Chief Executive, Dawn Howard; Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Biosecurity, Animal Health and Welfare), the Lord Douglas-Miller’ OBE; and NOAH Communications Committee Chair, Nora Aji (Boehringer Ingelheim)

The new robust GB regulatory framework for veterinary medicines is key to ensuring the availability and accessibility of safe and effective medicines for all animals. The regular review and updating of these regulations will help ensure the UK’s domestic industry is strengthened by long-term support and is able to benefit from future innovations. One Health considerations are important not only in this legislation, but also should be an important consideration in other policy areas — what impacts animal health positively can also benefit both human health and the environment.

Centring Collaboration and Driving Regulatory Resilience

Politicians, policymakers, and the animal health industry have a responsibility to secure One Health for all relevant actors, and the forthcoming legislation offers cohesive guidance to these industries. The new VMR legislation presents an opportune moment to entrench a One Health approach within the foundation of veterinary medicine regulations to ensure that they deliver for human and environmental health as well as for animals and livestock. Utilising this opportunity will help lay the groundwork of a resilient regulatory system that accounts for these interconnections and that is fit for the future.

To help secure this, the government must continue to engage with — and facilitate partnerships between — veterinary and medical professionals, as well as environmental experts. Improved collaboration between these sectors will help the development of solutions to contemporary health challenges for people as well as animals and advancements to the UK’s position as a global scientific force. Delivering on this will only be possible through sustained communications, best-practice and knowledge sharing, and more effective joined-up thinking between the relevant industries and policymakers.

Whilst the government’s plans for the VMRs focus on the veterinary medicines industry, the interconnected nature of One Health determines that human and environmental health are impacted by the health and welfare of animals and livestock. By embedding One Health principles into the foundation of veterinary medicine regulations, we pave the way for a resilient and sustainable future for all. NOAH remains steadfast in its commitment to working hand in hand with the government and industry partners to champion holistic approaches to disease prevention, environmental conservation, and public health.

Find out more at https://www.noah.co.uk or noah@noah.co.uk.

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