In a global first, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has launched a List of Essential Medicines for Cats and Dogs. Developed by the association’s Therapeutics Guidelines Group (TGG), the document aims to tackle difficulties that exist for companion animal veterinarians in many regions of the world in accessing vital veterinary medicines by supporting the availability of the drugs required for minimum standards of clinical practice.
The WSAVA List of Essential Medicines for Cats and Dogs includes both core and complementary essential medicines, listed alphabetically, either by drug category or organ system/specialty. It has been extensively peer-reviewed and will be updated every three years.
The WSAVA believes it will enhance the standard of care that companion animal veterinarians worldwide offer to their patients while also facilitating the regulatory oversight of pharmaceuticals included on the List.
The WSAVA has been campaigning to resolve global inequalities in accessing veterinary medicines since a 2016 survey of its 113 companion animal veterinary member associations revealed that 75 per cent of them faced obstacles in accessing medicines that restricted their ability to address the health and welfare needs of their patients.
According to the WSAVA this is a long-standing issue that also affects veterinarians working with production animals and medical doctors.
In 2016, the WSAVA published two Position Statements to raise awareness of this problem, both of which were co-signed by many other international veterinary associations and trade bodies.
In 2018, it created the Therapeutics Guidelines Group to lead its work in ensuring the adoption of best practices in selecting and using medicines and their responsible use in companion animals.
“The WSAVA List of Essential Medicines for Cats and Dogs is a major milestone in our efforts to support global drug availability and one that we believe will be helpful in making regulatory decisions around licensing, registration and approval,” TGG co-chair Dr Paulo Steagall said.
“We believe it will also support pharmacovigilance and help to mitigate the effects of a growing market for counterfeit pharmaceutical products.”