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Do you want to learn more about veterinary pharmacy? Read on ...

By Steven Kayne

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Harper Adams University College have produced a selection of veterinary pharmacy programmes for those involved with the provision of animal health. Steven Kayne, the course director, explains

See also Veterinary pharmacy resources 


RPS event

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is running a conference on veterinary pharmacy on 2–3 July 2011 at the Royal York Hotel, York.

For more information, visit  the RPS events page online

There is an ever growing number of companion animals (including horses) in the community, all of which require regular prophylactic treatment in order to control and contain many naturally occurring internal and external parasites, both for animal welfare and public health reasons.

Many aspects of veterinary pharmacy are analogous to mainstream human-oriented pharmacy, although, of course, major pharmacological differences occur between animal species and must be taken into account.

Diagnosis and therapeutic treatments are the main perogative of veterinarians for animals under their care, but disease prevention and prophylactic control is not so limited. Recent changes in veterinary Regulations allow pharmacists and suitably qualified persons to prescribe certain veterinary medicines.

Pharmacists are in a key position to act as a link between pet and livestock owners and other appropriate health professionals. Professional co-operation with veterinary surgeons and their practices is important and is of especial benefit to the animal “patient” and animal owner.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Harper Adams University College (HAUC) have joined together to produce a selection of innovative veterinary pharmacy programmes designed to attract individuals involved with the provision of animal health.

These may include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy support staff, veterinary nurses or university lecturers. The modular course is highly flexible, offering the following professional and HAUC-accredited awards:

  • Professional certificate in companion animal and equine health care
  • Professional certificate in large animal health care
  • HAUC University College diploma in veterinary pharmacy (UCDip)
  • HAUC postgraduate diploma in veterinary pharmacy (PgD)
  • HAUC master of science in veterinary pharmacy (MSc)

Some areas where pharmacists can contribute include:

  • Public health issues associated with keeping and eating animals
  • Legal issues associated with the supply of veterinary medicines
  • Formulation and quality of veterinary medicinal products
  • Routine prophylactic treatment of internal and external parasites
  • Advice on improving hygiene and issues about zoonoses
  • Guidance on dosage and administration
  • Information on welfare issues and travel
  • The need for prompt referral to a veterinary surgeon when necessary

The courses comprise four modules. The 2011 cohort began its studies with modules 1–3 in January. The module 4 residential week will be held at HAUC in Newport, Shropshire, in July. It may still be possible to sign up for this.

Details of the programme may be viewed at


Steven Kayne is the editor of ‘An introduction to veterinary medicine for pharmacists and suitably qualified persons’ (published by Saltire Books, February 2011)

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11071311

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