The National Office for Animal Health (NOAH), says that, with any industry, marketing animal health products is a key factor in spreading information about their use, as well as promoting sales.
All advertising is subject to the rules of the Advertising Standards Authority but as with human pharmaceuticals animal medicines promotions are regulated. There are special requirements in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations, and an additional industry Code of Practice, which is obligatory on all NOAH members and has also been endorsed by several non-member companies.
The Code of Practice was established as a form of self-regulation by the animal health industry in matters relating to product promotion. The Code of Practice Committee is actually older than NOAH itself, dating back to 1974 when NOAH was the Animal Health Register of Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the code was called the Veterinary Code of Practice.
The Code of Practice book (24th edition), in force from 1 October 2013, incorporating:
- Preface and Introduction
- Provisions of the Code
- Rules of Procedure for the Code of Practice Committee
- Data Sheets
- IFAH-Europe Code of Good Practice for the animal health industry (new edition June 2012)
- Guidance Notes
- Plain Guide to the Code and Handling Complaints.
Any approved changes between the 23rd and 24th edition of the Code have been indicated by a vertical line in the right hand margin. There has been a major rewrite and restructuring of the Code between editions 23 and 24, so many of the Clause and Rule 'numbers' have changed. A link to the old edition has been left for easy comparison.
The new edition of the Code of Practice for the Promotion of Animal Medicines booklet can be accessed on-line by clicking here.