Acute and Subchronic Toxicity?of Teucrium polium Total Extract in Rats
Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
(2009), 8 (4): 227-229
Copyright ? 2009 by School of Pharmacy Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services
Veterinary Pharmacy, a Dismissed Necessity
Hamid Reza Moghimi
Veterinary pharmaceuticals play an important role in human and animal health.
Although some dosage forms are specially designed for use in animals (e.g. ear
tags, collars and darts), most drug delivery systems (including nano-carriers
and controlled drug delivery systems) are common between animals and human (1).
A successful drug development process (for human or animal use), from initial
drug discovery to market, requires skill and knowledge in different areas of
science of which some disciplines (e.g. pharmaceutics) are exclusively covered
in pharmacy undergraduate or postgraduate programs. Pharmaceutics is the art,
science and technology of drug delivery system design, manufacture and control
and include pre-formulation studies, dosage form design, pharmaceutical
processing, quality control, quality assurance, biopharmaceutics and etc.
Therefore, like human medicine, pharmacists are expected to design, manufacture
and control veterinary drug delivery systems at both levels of pharmaceutical
companies or compounding in a pharmacy. This is not what is happening in most
veterinary pharmaceutical companies and almost all veterinary-based pharmacies
in here, where the professions are performed by veterinary medical doctors
(Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, DVM) (2). The educational program in veterinary
medicine (DVM) is clinical-based and is focused on prevention, diagnosis and
treatment of animal diseases (3), the same perspective as that designed for the
physicians (MD). While, there is not such authorization for physicians to act
the same in human-oriented pharmaceutical systems.
On the other hand, formulation of many drugs for human use is seldom suited for
animal administration (4). Design and preparation of veterinary drug delivery
systems requires different considerations and is facing more challenges than
that of human formulations and cannot be implemented based on human data only.
Following are some special considerations (1, 5):
Which species is the target (ruminants, avian, mammalians, reptiles, fish, wild
animals, pets, insects, bees, etc?)
Will it be used in more than one species?
Will it be used in food producing animals? In this case, what would be the risk
to human health due to residuals in milk, meat and other products?
What flavor do animals like?
How can one ensure compliance?
In what environment or weather the drug will be used?
The animal species will markedly affect the administration route, dose size and
type of delivery system. Different species differ in their body size (e.g.
compare parrot and horse), body fat distribution, GIT (e.g. ruminants vs.
non-ruminants), skin type, drug absorption, drug distribution, biliary excretion
(e.g. rats are good biliary excretors, while rabbits are poor and sheep are
moderate), metabolism and excretion, receptor sensitivity to drugs, behavior,
dietary habit, endocrinology and etc. (5, 6). Other factors include sleep cycle,
hibernation, single or herd dosing, drug delivery to wild animals, convenience
of administration and cost (1, 5). The last two factors are the foremost
criteria in determining the use of dosage forms by animal owners (1).
Now let?s have a look into community pharmacy. Many industrial farmers have
contact with their veterinarian, but, what about other people that might have
simple questions regarding their pet, zoonosis, etc.? Pharmacists cannot simply
advise animal owners or recommend OTC drugs based on their knowledge of human
body or human pharmaceutical products. It has been shown that salicylates and
acetaminophen are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality in cats
Considering the above mentioned expectations, pharmacy graduates need special
information, i.e., we need pharmacists specialized in veterinary pharmacy to
share the experience and also responsibility with veterinarians to ensure the
well-being of pets and food-producing animals and indirectly human (7, 8).
Pharmacists are in a key position to act as a link between veterinarian and
animal owners, like what is happening in a human-oriented pharmacy (9). Such
information is not currently provided in our undergraduate or postgraduate
pharmacy programs in Iran, at least for those who are interested in the field,
and, the question is why? The same applies to many pharmacy programs (BPharm,
MPharm or PharmD) around the world.
In Iran, production, distribution and control of human drugs are regulated by
the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOH) (10) and all aspects of
veterinary drug products (from production to use) are regulated and controlled
by Iran Veterinary Organization of the Ministry of Jihad-E-Agriculture (2).
Based on these regulations, veterinary medical doctors (DVM) can act as a
responsible manager in veterinary pharmaceutical companies (2). DVMs are
equivalent to physicians (MDs) in human health system, as described above, but,
there is not such an authorization for physicians to act the same in
human-oriented pharmaceutical companies. In the USA, however, the Center of
Veterinary Medicine of the FDA regulates the manufacture and distribution of
both human and animal drugs and even food additives that would be given to
animals [including food producing and companion (pet) animals]. Veterinary
biologicals (e.g. vaccines) which are used to prevent or diagnose animal
diseases are regulated by U.S. Department of Agriculture (11).
The practice of veterinary pharmacy is an emerging field in the USA, with the
roles of dispensing, compounding and providing drug information, as studied by
Ceresia et al. (8). However, it seems that this profession suffers from the lack
of consensus regarding the definition and learning experiences required to
practice in these roles (8). Veterinary pharmacy is also considered as a career
for pharmacists in almost every branch of the profession (e.g. community
pharmacy, industrial pharmacy, etc.) by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of
Great Britain (12). Accordingly, a community pharmacist will be able to offer
advise to customers about health of their pets, can supply medicine and give
advise to livestock farmers, and others might use their pharmacy skills in
veterinary pharmaceutical companies or related regulatory organization (12).
Also, the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union, which its main function is
to represent community pharmacists, has a veterinary pharmacists subgroup (13).
During my survey, I came across a number of places that provide courses in the
field of veterinary pharmacy for pharmacists or pharmacy students. These include
?Veterinary Therapeutic Courses for Pharmacy Students? provided by Creighton
University?s School of Pharmacy, Omaha, USA (14) and three veterinary pharmacy
programs provided by Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in
collaboration with Harper Adams University College (UK): ?Certificate in
Companion Animal Health Care?, ?Certificate in Livestock Heath Care? and
?Diploma in Veterinary Pharmacy? (9).
I think we have to change our direction in the field, if we want to improve our
health. In my opinion, pharmacists and veterinarians should get harmonized in
practice and regulatory affairs. It is recommended to establish a joint task
force, prioritizing health and safety concerns, to finally come up with an
active plan to optimize current veterinary pharmaceuticals regulatory practices.
Let?s join these two important specialties. In this direction, and as far as the
pharmacy discipline is concerned, I suggest the following changes in our
pharmacy education program:
Implementation of some modules related to veterinary pharmacy to current PharmD
Establishment of MSc and/or PhD programs in veterinary drug delivery (dosage
form design, biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics).
Establishment of a MSc program in veterinary pharmaceuticals manufacture,
quality control and quality assurance.
Recognition of veterinary pharmacy as a specialized area within pharmacy
practice. I have personally consulted such necessities with different colleagues in
academia, government and other professional organizations such as Shahid
Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (SBMU), Tehran University of Medical
Sciences, MOH?s Deputy for Food and Drug, MOH Department of Pharmaceutical and
Narcotic Control, MOH?s Pharmacy Higher Education Council and School of Pharmacy
of Islamic Azad University; all of which have agreed with such necessities.
Consequently, and upon my suggestion, the overall program leading to a MSc
degree in ?Veterinary Pharmaceuticals Manufacture, Quality Control and Quality
Assurance? has been approved by MOH?s Pharmacy Higher Education Council and also
the Department of Pharmaceutics at SBMU; with the details of individual remained
units to be constructed in due course.
Finally, I would liker to thank Dr. S. Shams (DVM) and Dr. M. Tahami (PharmD)
for providing information regarding veterinary medical education program and
regulations in Iran.
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Encyclopedia of Pharmaceutical Technology. 3rd ed., Vol. 6. Informa Healthcare,
New York (2007) 3941-3977.
Iran Veterinary Organization. http://www.ivo.org.ir/ Accessed 8 Nov. 2009.
School of Veterinary Sciences, Shiraz University. http://www.shiraz.ac.ir/
Accessed 7 Nov. 2009.
Jones WE. Veterinary compounding fulfils a need. J. Equine Vet. Sci. (1999) 19:
610-613 + 655.
Pope DG and Baggot JD. Special considerations in veterinary formulation design.
Int. J. Pharm. (1983) 14: 123-132.
Davis LE. The challenge of veterinary pharmacology. TIPS (1980) 295-299.
Jones WE. Veterinary compounding. J. Equine Vet. Sci. (1998) 18: 488-494.
Ceresia ML, Fasser CE, Rush JE, Scheife RT, Orcutt CJ, Michalski DL, Mazan MR,
Dorsey MT and Bernardi SP. The role and education of the veterinary pharmacist.
Am. J. Pharm. Edu. (2009) 73: 1-9.
Veterinary Pharmacy Education Programme. s. http://www.vpep.net/ Accessed 3 Nov. 2009.
Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Iran. http://www.behdasht.gov.ir/
Accessed 28 Oct. 2009.
Martinez MN, Hungerford L and Papich MG. Veterinary pharmaceuticals: factors
influencing their development and use. In: Swarbrick J. (ed.) Encyclopedia of
Pharmaceutical Technology. 3rd ed., Vol. 6. Informa Healthcare, New York (2007)
What do pharmacists do? Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. http://www.pharmacycareers.org.uk/
Accessed 31 Oct. 2009.
European Veterinary Pharmacists. Vet. Pharm. Royal Pharmaceutical Society of
Great Britain, 10 Oct. 2005: S1-S4.
Veterinary Therapeutic Course for Pharmacy Students. School of Pharmacy and
Health Professions, Creighton University Medical Center, USA. http://pharmacyonline.creighton.edu/
Accessed 31 Oct. 2009.
Dr. Hamid Reza Moghimi is currently working as an Associate Professor of
Pharmaceutics at the Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Shahid
Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran. He could be reached at the
following e-mail address: email@example.com