The World Veterinary Association (WVA), the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and the Federation of Companion Animal Francophone Veterinary Associations (FAFVAC) have all 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, Dr Luca Guardabassi DVM, PhD, ECVPH. Dr Guardabassi is Professor of One Health Antimicrobial Resistance at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
In a survey of its members conducted by the WSAVA during 2016-2017, 75% of respondents confirmed that that problems in accessing veterinary medical products hampered their ability to meet the needs of their patients and 20% assessed the impact of this issue as resulting in a severe restriction on their ability to provide a high level of care.
Dr Olatunji Nasir, Medical Director and CEO of the Truthmiles Animal Hospital in south west Nigeria, one of the countries affected, explained: “We face a Herculean task in trying access everything from basic medical consumables, such as syringes and needles, right up to veterinary drugs. 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 to support its campaign. It is also calling on other veterinary associations to become co-signatories of the Position Statement.
Commenting, Dr Luca Guardabassi said: “Difficulty in accessing therapeutics to treat patients is a critical issue for companion animal veterinarians in many parts of the world. It causes huge frustration and means that 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 that 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.”
The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 105 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice and lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.
Note to editors:
The following veterinary associations are co-signatories of the WSAVA’s Position Statement on therapeutic access:
- Commonwealth Veterinary Association
- Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations
- Federation of Asian Small Animal Veterinary Associations
- Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations
- Federacion Iberoamericana de Asociaciones Veterinarias de Animales de Compania
- World Veterinary Association
The following WSAVA member associations have endorsed its Position Statement on therapeutic access:
- Estonian Small Animal Veterinary Association
- Federation of Small Animal Practitioners Association, India
- Ghana Private Veterinary Surgeons Association
- Hellenic Companion Animal Veterinary Society
- Kenyan Small Companion Animal Association
- The Netherlands Association of Companion Animal Medicine
- North American Veterinary Community
- The Philippines Animal Hospital Association
- The Polish Small Animal Veterinary Association
For further information:
Rebecca George, George PR, Tel: 01449 737281/07974 161108 or firstname.lastname@example.org