WSAVA releases ‘essential medicines list’ for dogs and cats


The document was developed to help resolve global inequities in accessing veterinary medicines.

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After several years of legwork, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has released a List of Essential Medicines for Cats and Dogs, according to an organizational press release.

Developed by the association’s Therapeutics Guidelines Group (TGG), the 25-page document aims to tackle worldwide challenges in accessing vital veterinary medicines “by supporting the availability of the drugs required for minimum standards of clinical practice,” according to the release.

The extensively peer-reviewed document, which will be updated every three years, includes both core and complementary medicines, listed alphabetically, by either drug category or organ system/specialty.

WSAVA believes the new resource will not only improve the quality of care provided by veterinarians worldwide, but will also help facilitate “regulatory oversight of pharmaceuticals included on the list.”

“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,” said TGG Co-chair Paulo Steagall, DVM, MSc, PhD, DACVAA. “We believe it will also support pharmacovigilance and help to mitigate the effects of a growing market for counterfeit pharmaceutical products.”

According to the release, WSAVA has been campaigning to create this list since 2016, when a survey revealed that 75% of its 113 member associations had difficulty accessing medicines needed to address their patients’ health and welfare needs appropriately.

In its efforts to raise awareness about this issue, the association published two position statements in 2016, both of which were cosigned by several international veterinary associations and trade bodies. In 2018, WSAVA created the TGG to head its work “in ensuring the adoption of best practices in selecting and using medicines and their responsible use in companion animals.”

According to the document’s executive summary, the list is not intended to guide therapy or for use as a reference for dosing, drug interactions, indications/contraindications, adverse effects, pharmacologic effects, monitoring or drug disposal.

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