Addressing global inequities in access to essential medicines

WSAVA, WVA start out by developing lists of basic pharmaceuticals for animals

By Katie Burns
Published: 22 May 2023


The availability of basic pharmaceuticals has long been an issue for veterinarians around the globe, whether they treat livestock, dogs, cats, or other animal species.

“There are some medicines that are essential that are lacking in many, many parts of the world, especially in some regions,” said Dr. Rafael Laguens, president of the World Veterinary Association (WVA).

Now the WVA and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) are taking steps to improve the global availability of basic veterinary pharmaceuticals. The first step has been developing lists outlining what these medicines are for various animal species—mirroring the World Health Organization's (WHO) lists of essential medicines for human adults and children.

The WSAVA released the first version of its list of essential medicines for cats and dogs in 2020, and the association is currently updating that list. The WSAVA Congress, held Oct. 29-31, 2022, in Lima, Peru, featured a panel session and a stakeholder summit on access to basic veterinary pharmaceuticals. The summit resulted in formation of a task force to help develop solutions.

The World Veterinary Association is collaborating with Brooke, a group that seeks to improve the lives of working equids, to develop lists of essential medicines for livestock. The lists will cover aquaculture, bees, equids, large ruminants, porcine, poultry, rabbits, and small ruminants.

To see the full version of this story, visit the AVMA News website.