A report published today by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) shows that the overall sales of veterinary antimicrobials across Europe have decreased by more than 20% between 2011 and 2016. This continues the downward trend seen over the last few years and confirms that European Union (EU) guidance and national campaigns promoting prudent use of antibiotics in animals to fight antimicrobial resistance are having a positive effect.
The results are part of EMA’s report of the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) project, which presents detailed sales data for the year 2016 and records yearly changes in the consumption of veterinary antimicrobials dating back to 2010. For the 8th ESVAC report, 30 countries from the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) plus Switzerland provided data on sales or prescriptions of veterinary antimicrobials for 2016. Of these, 25 EU Member States submitted data for the entire period between 2011 and 2016. Participation in the ESVAC project has grown substantially, from nine countries initially to 30 today.
Reduction in sales is the result of combined efforts of the European Commission, EMA, EU Member States, veterinarians, farmers and other actors in the livestock sector. EU guidance together with national campaigns for prudent use of antibiotics in animals, sales targets and restriction of use of some antimicrobials in food-producing animals are among the actions implemented to reduce the sales of veterinary antimicrobials across Europe under the umbrella of the EU One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance. Led by the European Commission, the overarching goal of this plan is to preserve the possibility of effective treatment of infections in humans and animals through a framework for continued, more extensive action to reduce the emergence and spread of AMR.