To be licensed for sale, animal medications must meet strict requirements set by the federal government. Experts employed by the government act like scientific auditors to assess the volumes of data generated by product manufacturers to ensure that each product:
- does what its label says it does (is efficacious)
- is what the manufacturer says it is
- is safe for the animal and the person administering the medication
- its use doesn’t harm the environment, and
- has science-based safeguards to ensure that the meat, milk or eggs produced by a treated animal do not contain harmful residues
This is not a simple undertaking. Bringing a major animal drug to market can take 7 to 10 years of research costing up to $100 million.
HealthforAnimals, the global animal medicines association, regularly conducts Global Benchmarking Surveys on regional regulatory frameworks for veterinary medicines, including for the Canadian animal health industry. It summarizes the impacts these have on the industry innovation and access to products in the Canadian market. A copy of the 2015 full report can be viewed here.