Changes to OTC antimicrobials

by Jake Murphy, DVM

As many of you have likely heard, there are changes coming to the sale of over the counter antibiotics due to the FDA’s GFI 263 ordinance. On June 11th 2023, all medically important antibiotics used in livestock and equine production will be leaving the farm and feed store shelves, and will fall under veterinary oversight. What this means for you as a producer/animal owner is that you will no longer be able to purchase affected drugs without a prescription from a veterinarian.

Affected products will include:

cephapirin, cephapirin benzathine, gentamicin, lincomycin, oxytetracycline, penicillin G procaine, penicillin G benzathine, sulfadimethoxine, sulfamethazine, tylosin.

For clarity, this will include Biomycin-200/LA-200, Sulfa boluses/Albon, Terramycin eye ointments, Penicillin, Tylan, ToDay, TomMorrow, and many other commonly used livestock antibiotics.

These new guidelines will NOT include antimicrobials such as coccidiostats, ionophores, bacitracins, carbadox, flavomycins, and tiamulin. Nor will it affect dewormers, vaccines, and other non-antibiotic products that are currently over the counter.

While this is a big change, there is no need to panic. All the products will still be available through your vet. There are steps you can to help ease the transition!

Now is the time to establish a veterinary client patient relationship (VCPR) if you do not already have one with your veterinarian. A VCPR is “a formal relationship that you have with a veterinarian who serves as your primary contact for all veterinary services and is familiar with you, your livestock/animals, and your farm operation.” This VCPR is established with yearly visits to your farm or anytime a vet physically sees one of your animals for medical care. Once this is established your veterinarian can legally prescribe and sell you antibiotics for your animals. The VCPR needs to be renewed yearly to remain valid.

There are many positives to this new regulation:

· Having established care with a local veterinarian can help you decide on better choices of antibiotics for your animals health and ensure you are using the correct dosages and lengths between treatments.

· If you ever have an emergency with your animal and time is of the essence, you will have a vet relationship, be on the client list, and caring for your animal will be that much easier.

· A relationship with your veterinarian will help them to be more familiar with your farm enterprise, so you can work together to come up with the best management, prevention, and treatment plans for your individual livestock operation.

· You are helping to create less overabundance and misuse of antibiotics, which ensures that we still have antibiotics that work well to treat our animals and ourselves.

Contact us now to establish your VCPR for the year and ensure your animals will have access to antibiotics if and when they need them. Call Kulshan Veterinary Hospital (360) 354-5095.

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