The World Veterinary Association (WVA), the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and the Federation of Companion Animal Francophone Veterinary Associations (FAFVAC) have thrown their weight behind a campaign led by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) to secure equal access to veterinary therapeutics for veterinarians around the world. Ten WSAVA member associations have also endorsed it.
The WSAVA’s new Therapeutics Guidelines Group (TGG), which spearheads the campaign, has also appointed its first Chair, Luca Guardabassi DVM, PhD, ECVPH. Guardabassi is Professor of One Health Antimicrobial Resistance at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
In a WSAVA survey of its members conducted in 2016-2017, 75 per cent of respondents confirmed that problems accessing veterinary medical products hampered their ability to meet the needs of their patients, with 20 per cent claiming severe restrictions on their ability to provide a high level of care as a result.
“We face a Herculean task in trying access everything from basic medical consumables, such as syringes and needles, right up to veterinary drugs,” Olatunji Nasir, Medical Director and CEO of the Truthmiles Animal Hospital in south west Nigeria, one of the countries affected, said. “Registration fees are very high because they are the equivalent of what is charged for human drugs despite the fact that the volume used is much lower. The process of registering a new drug can also take up to 36 months which feeds demand for sub-standard products which are smuggled into the country. The procedures for importing drugs are also cumbersome and impractical.”
The WSAVA launched its campaign earlier this year to tackle these problems and is calling on all of its member associations to endorse its position statement on the issue, and for other veterinary associations to become co-signatories of the statement.
“Difficulty in accessing therapeutics to treat patients is a critical issue for companion animal veterinarians in many parts of the world,” Guardabassi said. “It causes huge frustration and means many thousands – probably millions – of animals do not receive optimum care. It’s a situation which requires urgent change and we are determined to bring this about.
“We’re delighted so many veterinary associations are supporting our campaign and are now preparing for a high-level summit meeting which will be held during WSAVA World Congress in Singapore in September. At this meeting, we will bring together stakeholders from around the world to discuss the issues and recommend practical solutions.”