Part 1, Regulation 2 of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations defines a "Veterinary medicinal product" as:
Any substance or combination of substances presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in animals; or
Any substance or combination of substances that may be used in, or administered to animals with a view either to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis.
Conversely a veterinary product may be considered non-medicinal if it fulfils the following two requirements.
The product is not medicinal by function.
The product is not medicinal by presentation.
Medicinal by Function:
A product is medicinal by function if it possesses recognised properties for treating or preventing disease in animals or if it may be administered to animals with a view to restoring, correcting or modifying a physiological function.
Products may also be considered medicinal by function due to their route of administration. For example a vitamin supplement administered by injection would be considered medicinal by function, as would any eye-drop applied directly to the eye.
All products that are medicinal by function must have a marketing authorisation as a veterinary medicine before they can be placed on the market.
Medicinal by Presentation:
A product is medicinal by presentation if the person (or organisation) responsible for placing the product on the market, or the manufacturer, or a connected third party, expressly indicates or recommends the product for treating or preventing disease, or for restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic effect. This may be by way of product labels, leaflets, advertisements or even oral recommendations, or by other forms of literature, relating to the product issued before, during or after the sale.
In the absence of express indications or recommendations such as those described above, a product is also medicinal by presentation if it gives the averagely well-informed person the impression that the product treats or prevents disease.
All products which are medicinal by presentation must have a marketing authorisation before they can be placed on the market.
A non-medicinal product should only be presented for health maintenance purposes or to maintain or support the healthy function of a physiological system. Non-medicinal products should not be associated with diseases or adverse conditions.
Reference expressed or implied, to the treatment or prevention of a specific disease or adverse condition or to improving the condition of the animal treated may be considered a medicinal claim. Such a reference, for example, to the treatment or prevention of scours, mastitis, colic, footrot, laminitis, eczema, and also to stress related to nervous conditions such as hyperactivity, or any other condition that is not the normal state of a healthy animal, would amount to a medicinal claim.