What is the Prescribing Cascade?
The Prescribing Cascade is a risk-based decision tree that is set out in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations. Its purpose is to allow the treatment of an animal in the event that there is no suitable UK authorised product available. The steps, in descending order of consideration are:
– a veterinary medicine authorised in the UK for use in another animal species, or for a different condition in the same species.
If there is no such product that is clinically suitable, either:
– a human medicine authorised in the UK,
– or a veterinary medicine not authorised in the UK, but authorised in an EU member state for use in any animal species in accordance with the Special Import Scheme.
In exceptional circumstances, where there is no suitable veterinary medicine available either as an authorised product or under the cascade, a vet may treat an animal with
– a medicine authorised in a country outside of the EU via the Special Import Scheme.