Authorized Medicine Sales Program

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Service Information


Inspection and Investigation Branch
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

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Home Study Manual 937K
Exam Schedule 2018 31K
Exam Schedule 2019 30K
Wholesale License 31K
Outlet License 32K
Outlet FAQS Final 148K
Public FAQS Final 82K
Quick Tips Cheatsheet 193K

Service Details
  Livestock medicines contribute to production animal health and the production of safe food and food products that originate from agricultural animals. The proper use of drugs or medicines is beneficial in alleviating animal suffering through the treatment and prevention of disease. On the other hand, the improper use of drugs may cause harm and unnecessary suffering in animals. For example, antibiotics must be carefully selected and used in order to treat bacterial infections effectively. Consumer protection also plays a role in the regulation of livestock medicines because consumers expect and demand that food products be wholesome, and free of disease or drug residues.

At all times, livestock producers are encouraged to work with and under the guidance of a registered veterinarian so that their animals are in the best possible health. As animal health experts, veterinarians play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of animal disease and health maintenance. In the event a producer has any concerns or is unsure of how a production animal should be cared for or its health maintained, the producer should always consult with a veterinarian registered with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA).

The Authorized Medicine Sales Regulation (AMSR) supports animal health and safe food production from animals in two ways. First, it regulates the wholesale distribution of authorized medicine to authorized medicine sales outlets (AMSOs), and second, the AMSR also regulates the manner in which authorized medicine may be sold to the public. Only certain types of veterinary medicines may be distributed or sold over the counter, rather than by way of a prescription written by a registered veterinarian. Production animals include not only those animals that are used for slaughter for food or food products, but also horses and other animals used in the pollination of crops.

All premises or outlets where the authorized medicines are sold must be licensed as Authorized Medicine Sale Outlets (AMSO). Each AMSO must have at least one person who is licensed as a “Qualification Certificate” (QC) holder to be present or available for consultation at all times during regular business hours. A person may obtain a QC license upon demonstrating, to the satisfaction of government regulators, a basic understanding of the proper use of authorized production animal medicines by way of examination. In this way, public confidence in both authorized medicine sales and it role in supporting both animal health and food safety is maintained.

The roles and responsibilities of QC holders and AMSO licensees have limitations. QC holders and AMSO shall not provide livestock producers with specific information pertaining to disease diagnosis or drug prescription. Rather, such matters come exclusively within the role of the registered veterinarian. For this reason, this manual will not describe specific disease conditions or recommend treatments.

Persons who purchase animal health products at AMS outlets are expected to know what products they require. A QC holder has a responsibility to refer persons who do not have a clear knowledge of what authorized production animal medicine they require to a veterinarian registered with the ABVMA.

This manual is written with a twofold purpose. First, it is a learning tool designed to provide information that is necessary for those who are interested in becoming QC holders. Questions on the QC examination are based on the review questions at the end of each section of this manual. Answers to the review questions may be found in Appendix “A”.

The second objective of this manual is that it will serve as a convenient resource that informs and educates QC holders who dispense drugs at AMSOs in the proper use and handling of drugs in order that they may assist livestock producers in ensuring a safe food supply.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Ag-Info Centre.

Last Reviewed/Revised on October 23, 2018.