7 September 2001
Maker condemns farm medicine plan

By Alistair Driver

A LEADING animal health company has attacked European Union proposals to sell veterinary products on a prescription only basis.

Peter Coe, director animal health products at Pfizer, said the company wanted to see merchants continue to have a role in distributing veterinary products.

Currently, about one quarter of animal health products are sold by agricultural merchants through the pharmacy and merchants list.

Under the new proposals all products would have to be sold through vets.

We are the comfortable with the current distribution system as it stands as it ensures medicine gets to the right people in the most efficient way, said Mr Coe.

From our own point of view we will have to alter our distribution system which always comes with a cost.

Mr Coe added: Farmers have to source from different suppliers and this would restrict supplies to vets only.

The Animal Health Distributors Association claims leaving vets as the sole suppliers would result in increased prices for farmers

A spokesman for the Merial animal health company said the proposals were unlikely to have an impact on manufacturers of health products.

The big impact will be on the distributors sales, he said.

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