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The One Health vision requires veterinarians and physicians to collaborate to prevent bioethical challenges created by restricted access to ketamine in low- and middle-income countries

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  • 1 The Downing Center for Animal Pain Management LLC, Windsor, CO

Abstract

The One Health approach asserts that the health of animals and people is closely connected. Under this approach, the CDC and AVMA work globally to attain optimal health outcomes for both animals and humans. One facet of optimal health involves access to safe and effective anesthetics and analgesics. The anesthetic and analgesic drug ketamine possesses unique properties that make it particularly important for both veterinary and human patients in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These properties include its portability and stability, low cost, ease of administration, and wide therapeutic margin. China advocates regularly to the United Nations for global scheduling of ketamine as a controlled substance. However, this would disproportionately restrict access to ketamine in LMICs, imposing bioethical challenges related to animal patients, human patients, and communities. In alignment with the One Health vision, opposing global scheduling of ketamine in LMICs creates a unique opportunity for collaboration between veterinarians and physicians in LMICs and high-income countries to prevent these bioethical challenges.

Abstract

The One Health approach asserts that the health of animals and people is closely connected. Under this approach, the CDC and AVMA work globally to attain optimal health outcomes for both animals and humans. One facet of optimal health involves access to safe and effective anesthetics and analgesics. The anesthetic and analgesic drug ketamine possesses unique properties that make it particularly important for both veterinary and human patients in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These properties include its portability and stability, low cost, ease of administration, and wide therapeutic margin. China advocates regularly to the United Nations for global scheduling of ketamine as a controlled substance. However, this would disproportionately restrict access to ketamine in LMICs, imposing bioethical challenges related to animal patients, human patients, and communities. In alignment with the One Health vision, opposing global scheduling of ketamine in LMICs creates a unique opportunity for collaboration between veterinarians and physicians in LMICs and high-income countries to prevent these bioethical challenges.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Downing (drrobin@downingcenter.com)