The European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) project collects information on how antimicrobial medicines are used in animals across the European Union (EU). This type of information is essential to identify possible risk factors that could lead to the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance in animals.
The European Medicines Agency started this project in April 2010 following a request from the European Commission for the Agency to develop a harmonised approach for the collection and reporting of data on the use of antimicrobial agents in animals from EU Member States.
The Agency published the first report from this project in September 2011 covering the period 2005-2009. The report contains harmonised data of sales in nine EU countries.
The Agency published the second report from the project in October 2012. A total of 19 EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries had submitted data on 2010 sales to the Agency.
In October 2013 the Agency published the third report from the project covering the data from 2011. The report reflects sales data submitted by 25 EU/EEA countries.
The reports will be used by risk assessors and risk managers in Member States to inform antimicrobial policy and the responsible use of antimicrobials.
ESVAC population correction unit
The amounts of veterinary antimicrobial agents sold are linked to the animal demographics in each country. In order to normalise the sales data for the animal population that can be subjected to treatment with antimicrobial agents, a population correction unit (PCU) is used in the ESVAC as a proxy for the size of the animal population. The way the PCU is calculated can be seen in Appendix 2 of the first ESVAC report.
In 2013 ESVAC is collecting detailed and standardised data for 2012 following a call for data sent to 27 EU/EFA countries. The agency is also planning the collection of consumption data by species.
The Agency has held meetings on monitoring sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in Europe, bringing together representatives of Member States and other stakeholders:
- European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption stakeholders meeting (18/03/2013)
- ESVAC annual network meeting 2012 (14-15/02/2012)
- Meeting with stakeholders on monitoring sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in Europe (28/09/2010)
- Meeting on monitoring of sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in Europe (25/11/2009)
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- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Network
- European Commission: Antimicrobial resistance
- World Health Organization (WHO) Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance
- WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology: ATCvet
- European Food Safety Authority: Antimicrobial Resistance