Shaping the future of animal health
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 research and some quality controls imposed by the agencies necessitate animal tests. Virbac commits itself to the 3Rs rule (reduce, refine, replace), and is proactive in substituting of research 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 vaccination production for livestock in Uruguay, Chile and Taiwan implement this willingness on the part of the company to strengthen its development in the field of vaccines. Virbac is also involved in several partnership programmes with public research institutes and private companies with the aim of developing alternatives to antibiotics that will not lead to resistance in treated bacteria. These partnerships are part of long-term thinking and, like the vaccines strategy, will allow reduction in the use of antibiotics.

In 2016, the Group’s resources devoted to innovation represent 7.6% of sales.

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 transportation of medicines, Virbac uses Good distribution practices, such as respect for the cold chain, when the nature of the products demands it.

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 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 customers 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 laboratories, 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 effects are attributable or not to the use of the drug 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 side effects attributable to a drug eventually allows precautions for use to be added to the packaging leaflets and make their use safer. Due to the increasing globalisation of its medicines, the Virbac Group has organised the collection of cases of adverse effects on a global scale, by implementing a reporting system in all subsidiaries. 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 accordance with the regulations governing the transportation of high-risk 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 customer’s perspective, Virbac complies with the regulations concerning indications and precautions for use that must appear on packaging, both for products requiring Marketing authorisations and those referred to as nutritional. Each claim is supported by appropriate clinical studies.
Customer satisfaction

Qualitative and/or quantitative market research is systematically carried out before and during the development of new products in order to ensure that the product specifications meet the animal health needs, the practices of the veterinary profession and the expectations of owners/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.
Qualitative market research collecting user feedback is also conducted 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

Due to the nature of its pharmaceutical industrial activity, the Virbac group is subject to the requirements defined by national or supranational veterinary medical agencies. Any product claims must be scientifically proven and kept available for the regulatory agencies. The qualified pharmaceutical person at each Virbac subsidiary is guarantor of respect for regulations concerning products sold in his country.
These principles apply both to medicines with Marketing authorisations and also to foods, complementary and dietetic food for animals for which Virbac complies with local regulations (e.g. for nutritional supplements and food: European Regulation 767/2009, US NASC accreditation). In addition, Virbac does not directly promote products which need a prescription (and which may not be subject to derogation) among owners or farmers but refers them to veterinary consultation in order to promote preventive medicine.

All the performance indicators in the 2016 sustainable development report (page 69)

 
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