WSAVA Campaign Seeks Global Access to Veterinary Therapeutics

March 26, 2018
Amanda Carrozza

Amanda Carrozza is a freelance writer and editor in New Jersey.

WSAVA has launched a global campaign to secure equitable access to veterinary therapeutics for all veterinarians.

In some regions of the world, veterinary practices struggle to receive the veterinary medicinal products they require to provide a high level of patient care. In response to the longstanding problems veterinary professionals have endured as a result—and concerns raised by its member associations—the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has launched a campaign to secure equitable access to veterinary therapeutics. According to the association, these inequalities stem from a variety of factors but commonly result from financial or regulatory issues.

From the association’s official position statement on the campaign: “Ready access by healthcare professionals to pharmaceuticals, biologicals, parasiticides, and antiseptics is one of the key pillars of appropriate patient care, whether in human or veterinary medicine. Inequities in availability and access exist between various regions of the world for a variety of reasons. We call upon key stakeholders to seek solutions that would broaden access while maintaining the sanctity of the veterinary-client-patient+/-pharmacist relationship, where warranted.”

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WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 105 member associations. To date, a number of high-profile associations have already cosigned the statement, including the Commonwealth Veterinary Association, Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations, and HealthforAnimals.

“The ready access by veterinary professionals to diagnostics and therapeutic modalities is the foundation of proper patient care,” WSAVA President Walt Ingwersen, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM, said. “The frequent frustration that many of our members experience in accessing the products they need is a real concern. It has a significant impact on the quality of veterinary treatment that many of them can provide with the result that many thousands of animals do not receive optimum care.”

WSAVA is also forming a Therapeutics Guidelines Group (TGG) to spearhead its efforts to improve access to veterinary therapeutics. The group will comprise individuals with global expertise in the field and will work toward goals including:

  • Developing minimum standards for a veterinary hospital pharmacy to ensure it can support a veterinarian’s ability to provide an appropriate standard of care
  • Monitoring issues related to access to veterinary therapeutics and recommending solutions using an evidence-based approach
  • Engaging global stakeholders to raise awareness of the issue and building a collaborative approach to resolution.

“WSAVA’s new campaign will be a great step towards solving inequitable access to animal medicines,” Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, executive director of HealthforAnimals, said. “Companies are developing breakthrough treatments but it means nothing unless they can reach veterinarians. We’re proud to stand alongside WSAVA and support its call for action.”