World Veterinary Day 2014 – focus on animal welfare
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) supports World Veterinary Day, taking place on Saturday 26 April 2014, which this year focuses on animal welfare.
Animal welfare is a core mandate of the veterinary community generally. Good animal welfare relates to the provision of appropriate shelter, good livestock management, proper nutrition, humane handling, disease prevention and the provision of veterinary medical treatment when needed.
The EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) is responsible for preparing the Agency's opinions on all questions concerning veterinary medicines, including the initial assessment of veterinary medicines for which a European Union (EU)-wide marketing authorisation is sought.
Over the past year, the CVMP received 23 applications for the initial evaluation of new veterinary medicines, which marks a significant increase compared to the previous year. This rise was due to receipt of applications for a range of related vaccines, on top of the trend for a gradual increase in the number of applications received in recent years.
The growing interest in the development of new veterinary medicines also seems to be demonstrated by the increasing number of scientific advice requests received by the CVMP. Similarly to medicines for human use, scientific advice in the veterinary area is designed to facilitate the development and access to the market of high-quality, effective and acceptably safe medicines.
Over the past 12 months, 14 new veterinary medicines were recommended for marketing authorisation, two of which were classified as intended for minor use/minor species (MUMS) or limited markets. The aim of the MUMS/limited markets policy and procedures is to stimulate development of new veterinary medicines for minor species and for rare diseases in major species that would otherwise not be developed in current market conditions.
Since its introduction in October 2010, this policy has been highly successful in terms of increasing interest from the animal health industry in submitting applications for MUMS products, with over 70 products classified so far. Under this policy, products indicated for food producing species are eligible for fee incentives when no alternative products exist for the condition concerned.
Among the 14 new medicines recommended for marketing authorisation, five medicines were products against parasites affecting dogs and cats, showing the attractive nature of this market for animal health companies.
The EMA operates at a European and global level to promote the development and market access of veterinary medicines in the interests of animal health and welfare. The Agency is a partner within the Veterinary International Conference on Harmonization (VICH) and supports its Outreach Initiative aiming to harmonise at international level the data requirements for authorisation of veterinary medicines, thereby promoting availability and access to veterinary medicines at a global level.
World Veterinary Day was instigated by the World Veterinary Association (WVA) in 2000 to be marked on the last Saturday of April each year.