Antimicrobial therapy is crucial to effectively combat and control infectious diseases in animals and humans. In veterinary medicine, access to antimicrobials is essential for animal health, to improve animal welfare and prevent unnecessary suffering and to ensure a safe food supply.
EGGVP is concerned about antimicrobial resistance and recognises the importance of setting appropriate and sustainable measures. Although being a naturally occurring phenomenon in microorganisms which cannot be completely excluded, the development and spreading of antimicrobial resistance can be controlled and reduced. The most crucial and effective tool to combat AMR is to use antimicrobials prudently. Each stakeholder must play its role and should do its best to prevent inappropriate use of antimicrobials in veterinary and human medicine.
EGGVP assumes this responsibility by providing high quality, safe and effective products, while promoting prudent use of antimicrobials according to the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) approved by responsible national and European authorities.
Generics contain the same active medicinal substance as an originator, and because they act in the same way, they are interchangeable with the originator product. It is often the case that the SPC of a generic product meets higher standards compared to the originator, since it has been authorized later in time, under more stringent and up-to-date regulatory requirements.
The EU industry of generic veterinary medicines, represented by EGGVP, not only provides high quality, effective and safe antimicrobials, but also plays an important role in assuring availability of veterinary medicines. Generics contribute to medicines’ availability by creating an appropriate competitive environment, with more options for European veterinarians, farmers and pet owners.
As a member of the European platform for the responsible use of animal medicines (EPRUMA), EGGVP fully supports the EPRUMA motto regarding the use of medicines in animals: “As little as possible, as much as necessary”. In this sense, it is crucial that antimicrobials are prescribed and administered at the correct dosage and following an accurate examination and clinical diagnosis, supported by sensitivity testing wherever possible.
Today, most European countries base their policies to combat antibiotic resistance on a decrease of the use of antimicrobials only. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these restrictive prescribing policies. In this sense, the European Medicines Agency has published a report in which it acknowledges the difficulties in estimating the impact of such measures, due to complexity in linking antimicrobial use in food producing animals to resistance in man, problems in identifying the effects of a single action when several actions may be implemented simultaneously, difference in assessing the risk(s) associated with the use of the same antimicrobial in different species, effects of cross- and co-resistance, and key ‘measurements of success’ and desired outcomes for an effective policy, and how they will be measured.
In order to lower the burden of antimicrobial resistance consistently, an interdisciplinary approach – rather than focusing on the decrease of sales only – is necessary. Measures should be taken in coordination both in human and veterinary fields (ONE HEALTH concept), based on policies aiming at responsible use and at the prevention of spread or transmission of resistant bacteria supported by:
- Education and communication
- Optimization of therapy regimes
- Guidelines, formularies
- Good farming practices
- Monitoring use and resistance
In reference to this last point, EGGVP welcomes ESVAC data collection and reporting as an essential and transparent tool to monitor the antibiotic use in animals. The EGGVP members have continuously and firmly supported ESVAC through the submission of sales data to the National Competent Authorities, and hope that further efforts may be performed towards the simplified and harmonized data collection at one single point in Europe.
EGGVP is committed to take necessary measures to contribute actively and responsively to control antimicrobial resistance; it will remain focused on continual improvement of the quality, safety and efficacy of veterinary medicines, and will keep on advocating prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials.