WSAVA Invites Updates to its Essential Medicines List for Cats and Dogs

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is to hold an open audit for updates to its Essential Medicines for Cats and Dogs prior to launching a revised version later in 2023. Starting on January 9, 2023, WSAVA members, industry representatives and all other stakeholders are invited to submit their comments on the current edition for review and potential inclusion.

The Essential Medicines List for Cats and Dogs was developed by the association’s Therapeutics Guidelines Group. A global first, it aimed to tackle the difficulties that exist for companion animal veterinarians in many regions of the world in accessing vital veterinary medicines by supporting the availability of drugs required for minimum standards of clinical practice. The document includes both core and complementary essential medicines, listed alphabetically, either by drug category or organ system/specialty. It is available for free download on the WSAVA’s website.

Through its Therapeutics Guidelines Group, the WSAVA is leading a campaign to resolve global inequalities in accessing veterinary medicines and recently addressed the topic during its flagship ‘Shaping the Future’ session at WSAVA World Congress 2022, in Lima, Peru. It also hosted a stakeholder meeting during the Congress to discuss the issue in more detail and to explore potential solutions.

Commenting, Dr Paulo Steagall, Co-chair of the Therapeutics Guidelines Group, said: “The WSAVA List of Essential Medicines for Cats and Dogs has proved an important step forward in our efforts to improve global drug availability. We know that it is already supporting regulatory decision-making around licensing, registration and approval, as well as assisting with pharmacovigilance.

“As it was launched in 2020, it is now time for its three-yearly review and, for this, we are calling on the global veterinary community to help us so that we can ensure that the document fulfils its purpose of becoming a key element of the regulatory framework and a useful tool to ensure access to veterinary medicines globally.

“We are keen to hear from veterinarians, from industry and from all other stakeholders with their suggestions and comments as to what the core and complementary medicines for treating the most frequent and important diseases in small animal companion medicine should be. This will ensure that the 2023 edition of the WSAVA Essential Medicines List for Cats and Dogs is fully up-to-date when we release it later in the year.”

Before making their comments, contributors are asked to review the definitions of core and complementary essential medicines in the first edition of the WSAVA Essential Medicines List at

Submissions should be sent to the WSAVA Therapeutics Guidelines Group at by 31 March 2023.

The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.

The work of the WSAVA Therapeutics Guidelines Group is kindly supported by Zoetis.

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