Veterinary drug rules must boost innovation, says IFAH-Europe

By Liz Newmark, in Brussels

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Medicine, Beef, Lamb, Livestock, Pork, Poultry

EU ministers are expected to debate the online sale of antibiotics
EU ministers are expected to debate the online sale of antibiotics
New EU legislation on veterinary medicines must increase innovation in the meat and livestock sector, Roxane Feller, secretary general of the International Federation of Animal Health (IFAH-Europe), told GlobalMeatNews. 

Arguing that some of the proposed reforms to EU controls on veterinary medicine were too strict, Feller condemned “the current complex system​” as burdensome and “contributing to a 20% drop in the innovation rate and lower product availability, particularly for minor species and smaller countries​”. She added: “Encouraging investment in innovation means new medicines may be developed to fill the gaps in treatment options for animals​.”

Noting the European Parliament’s 10 March vote to restrict existing antimicrobial drugs use, Feller argued the legislative revisions allowed for “a more streamlined licensing process​” and that improved data protection periods would encourage companies to invest in new medicines.

Tackle illegal medicine

The IFAH head, emphasising that “the opportunity to revise the rules governing our products only comes up every 10 to 15 years​”, welcomed the risk-based approach to decision-making favoured by rapporteur [lead MEP on the proposals] French centre-right member Françoise Grossetête. Calling for science-based policies, Feller said a ban on the preventive use of antibiotics “would inevitably lead to a serious increase in animal disease and mortality, and severely impact our food supply as well as Europe’s agri-economy​”.

IFAH supports a restricted and controlled approach to online sales of antibiotics,​” Feller continued, applauding the European Commission’s proposed list of approved online suppliers and database of registered products and wholesalers. “The illegal supply of medicines and sometimes fake medicines needs to be tackled.​”

However, hinting a ban on e-commerce sales was a step too far, she added: “Internet sales are part of today’s reality.​”

EU ministers are now expected to debate the proposal.

IFAH-Europe represents manufacturers of veterinary medicines, vaccines and other animal health products in Europe.

Related topics: Meat

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