Cover letter, Usage of antimicrobial drugs in companion animals 2012 - 2014
Utrecht, February 2, 2017
Re: SDa report Usage of antimicrobial drugs in companion animals from 2012 - 2014:
Results of a survey of veterinary practices in the Netherlands
Dear Sir, Madam,
It is with great pleasure that the Netherlands Veterinary Medicines Authority (SDa) presents to you its report Usage of antimicrobial drugs in companion animals from 2012 - 2014: Results of a survey of veterinary practices in the Netherlands. We drew up this report following a request by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. The main objectives of the report were to quantify the amounts of antimicrobial drugs used in companion animals, to identify differences in prescription patterns between individual veterinary practices, and to specify the relative contribution of first-, second- and third-choice antimicrobial drugs to overall antimicrobial drug use in companion animals. To this end, usage data for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 were collected through a survey of practices providing veterinary care for companion animals. A similar survey was conducted to shed light on the usage of antimicrobial drugs in horses. The two reports are published simultaneously.
The survey of companion animal veterinary practices has shown a decline in the amount of antimicrobial drugs used in companion animals. Mean DDDADAP figures declined from 3.14 in 2012 to 2.77 in 2013 and 2.60 in 2014. This represents a 17.2% reduction over the 3-year study period. Although relatively big differences were seen between individual practices, the inter-practice differences identified during the study were getting smaller or showed increasingly narrow distributions. In 2014, usage levels of individual practices ranged from 0.65 DDDADAP to 8.64 DDDADAP. The differences between the veterinary practices were probably due to the inclusion of different types of practices.
The relative contribution of first-, second- and third-choice antimicrobial drugs to overall use in companion animals has shifted throughout the study period. In 2014, first-choice antimicrobial drugs accounted for 42% of all antimicrobial drugs used, with second- and third-choice antimicrobial drugs accounting for 51% and 6.9%, respectively. The main development between 2012 and 2013 was a DDDADAP reduction. The main development between 2013 and 2014 was a shift from usage of third- and second-choice antimicrobial drugs towards usage of first-choice antimicrobial drugs. Between 2012 and 2014, usage of third-choice antimicrobial drugs dropped by 73%, from 0.67 (minimum: 0.014, maximum: 2.97) DDDADAP to 0.189 (minimum: 0.001, maximum: 0.884) DDDADAP. This reflects the general downward trend in overall antimicrobial drug use and usage of third-choice antimicrobial drugs in particular.
The SDa expert panel feels continuous monitoring and benchmarking of the companion animal sector is not necessary, since current usage levels are low, inter-practice differences are decreasing, and third-choice antimicrobial drugs only represent a small proportion of all antimicrobial drugs used. It therefore recommends monitoring the usage of antimicrobial drugs in companion animals once every 3 years, by means of a survey of companion animal veterinary practices similar to the survey described in this report.
The SDa board is going to act on this advice. In addition, we would like to ask veterinarians to please adhere to the existing guidelines, in order to reduce the inter-practice usage level variations that are due to differences in prescription patterns.
On behalf of the SDa board,
F.J.M. Werner H.M.G. van Beers- Schreurs