Shaping the future of animal health
Virbac group
Responsibility contact
For more information about our actions in this field, please e-mail us: developpement. durable@virbac.com
 

Product responsibility

RESPONSIBLE INNOVATION
 

In terms of responsible innovation, Virbac today works with two main themes: alternative methods to animal testing and the reduction of antibiotics in animal production.

Virbac develops pharmaceutical and biological products for which regulatory studies and some quality tests imposed by the agencies necessitate animal tests. Virbac commits itself to the 3Rs rule (reduce, refine, replace), and is proactive in substituting of studies and investigations on animals by alternative methods and techniques and negotiates with different agencies worldwide to persuade them to accept alternative methods.

The development of prevention, particularly by vaccination, is one of the ways to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal production. Recent investments by Virbac in research centres and vaccine production for livestock in Uruguay, Chile and Taiwan show the willingness of the company to strengthen its development in the field of vaccines. Virbac is also engaged in several partnership programmes with public research institutes and private companies with the goal of developing alternatives to antibiotics that will not create resistance in targeted bacteria. These partnerships are part of long-term thinking and, like the vaccines strategy, will allow reduction in the use of antibiotics.

In 2015, the resources devoted to innovation strongly increased (+12.5%) compared with the previous year and represent 7.9% of revenues.

 
CLIENT HEALTH AND SAFETY
 
Virbac is committed to developing, producing and distributing products and services aimed at improving the quality of life for animals and guaranteeing their health while ensuring comfort and safety for those that administer these products: vets, farmers, animal owners, etc.
 
Horses

To do this, Virbac meets the highest applicable quality-safety-efficiency standards. At the development stage, good laboratory practices are followed systematically, for example through data traceability. Good manufacturing practices are applied during the production stage, particularly through the certification of all Virbac factories. Finally, for the supply of medicines, Virbac uses good distribution practices, such as respect for the cold chain, when required by the nature of the products.

Evaluation of product safety during its use is carried out whenever necessary, particularly through the development or selection of specific packaging. In product labelling, Virbac intends clearly to explain all the information useful to the proper administration of the product and to the understanding of its properties and contra-indications. The Group also has a leading role in the development of schemas and pictograms which enable the optimised understanding of information fundamental to the health and safety of consumers to be optimised.

For species destined for consumption, Virbac ensures that during product development its products respect pharmaceutical standards relating to residual traces of medicines in foodstuffs: meat, milk, eggs... In addition, the guidelines for use are systematically brought to the attention of the consumer through product packaging and various associated communication media.

Throughout the life cycle of the products, including during development, Virbac assesses the expectations of clients and their satisfaction, in order continuously to adjust product characteristics. In terms of marketing, all Virbac promotional communications respect the scientific and technical claims demonstrated during the development stage of the product.

Lastly, the Virbac quality system enables the company to efficiently detect, trace and treat all quality incidents inherent in pharmaceutical activity.

Pharmacovigilance
Like all pharmaceutical companies, Virbac is legally obliged to monitor the veterinary medicines it places on the market, in terms of their safety and efficacy. This obligation is known as pharmacovigilance. Its purpose is to create an organisation which keeps a list of adverse reactions (whether serious or not) reported by vets or other health professionals, or even by users of such medicines (owners of companion animals, for example). This organisation, placed under the responsibility of a person qualified in (veterinary) pharmacovigilance and a qualified interim person, must collect all of the cases originating from all countries in the world, analyse them, decide if the adverse reactions are attributable or not to the use of the medicine concerned and, finally, officially declare these cases to the supervisory authorities. Periodically, all cases declared during a given period for a given medicine are compiled in a report, which is then sent to the same authorities. Compiling all the adverse effects attributable to a medicine eventually allows precautions for use to be added to the drug notices and make their use safer. Given the increasing globalisation of these medicines, the Virbac group has organised collection of cases of adverse effects on a global scale, setting up a reporting system in all its affiliates. The Virbac group's ambition is perfect pharmacovigilance; that is to say, to collect all cases of adverse effects attributable to medicines that it places on the market, to fulfil all its obligations within the time frames prescribed by the administration, and to use the pharmacovigilance tool to develop knowledge of its products.
 
PRODUCT AND SERVICE LABELLING
 

In terms of the safety of products and their components, Virbac policy is as follows:

  • provision of safety data sheets for “raw materials” and “finished products” to Virbac staff and transporters;
  • organisation of transportation in line with European regulations governing the transportation of hazardous products:
    • availability of safety data sheets for finished products in French and in English;
    • packaging of hazardous products in packaging that meets current standards;
  • from the client's perspective, Virbac complies with the European directives concerning indications and precautions for use that must appear on packaging, both for products requiring marketing authorisation and those referred to as nutritional. Each claim is supported by appropriate clinical studies. 
Customer satisfaction

Market research is systematically carried out before and during the development of new products to ensure alignment between the specifications and animal health needs, the practices of the veterinary profession and the expectations of owners and farmers in terms of compliance. For example, the palatability of oral products (tablets, liquids) and their ease of administration by the owner are two criteria validated during the product development stage.

Market research is also carried out regularly after the launch of new products. For example, before the launch of an ear treatment to gauge the degree of satisfaction of owners with the ergonomics, practicality and perceived efficacy of the product.

Goat
 
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
 

By the nature of its pharmaceutical industrial activity, Virbac is subject to the requirements defined by national and supranational veterinary medical agencies. Any product claims must be scientifically proven and kept available for the regulatory authorities. The pharmaceutical manager in each Virbac affiliate is guarantor of respect for regulations concerning products sold in his country.

These principles apply both to medicines with marketing authorisation and also to foods, food complements and dietetics for animals, for which Virbac is in compliance with new European regulations 767/2009. Furthermore, Virbac does not directly promote products needing a prescription (and non-exempt) from the owners but refers them to veterinary consultation to promote preventive medicine.

 
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