WSAVA to Confront the Challenges of Antimicrobial Prescribing during Flagship ‘Shaping the Future’ Congress Session

Thursday September 28 2023, WSAVA World Congress, Lisbon, Portugal

How to influence human behaviour to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the topic under the spotlight at this year’s WSAVA Shaping the Future session at WSAVA Congress. During the session, members of the WSAVA’s Therapeutics Guidelines Group (TGG) will confront the challenges of effective antimicrobial prescribing and highlight the resources available to aid practitioners in this area. They will also compare and contrast different approaches to antimicrobial stewardship, which are being taken in Europe, the UK and the USA.

WSAVA Congress takes place in Lisbon, Portugal, from 27-29 September with its annual Shaping the Future session addressing a key issue of global concern for the veterinary community. This year’s session, entitled: ‘Restriction, Enablement, Behaviour Modification: what is the best approach to improve antimicrobial prescribing?’ will take place on Thursday 28 September at 11.20 am. It will be followed by a panel discussion and a brief review of the TGG’s work to date presented by outgoing chairs, Dr Paulo Steagall and Dr Luca Guardabassi.

According to the TGG, different approaches are already in use to support effective prescribing. These include enablement interventions which provide prescribers with useful information, including guidelines and other educational resources, to support appropriate prescription. Restrictive interventions, in contrast, require prescribers to adhere to a set of rules via national legislation or local control measures.

During the session, speakers including incoming TGG Co-chairs Dr Fergus Allerton and Dr Jennifer Granick, will discuss common behavioural pitfalls in making appropriate antimicrobial selection choices; consider the role of legislation in improving prescribing practices and present examples of both restrictive and enablement approaches. They will also evaluate their outcomes to date and the evidence supporting their value.

The roles of the recently revised World Health Organisation Medically Important Antibiotic List; the European Medicines Agency List and the WSAVA’s own Essential Medicines List for Cats and Dogs will all be considered in terms of their impact on patient care.

Commenting, TGG member, Fergus Allerton, explained: “Veterinary antimicrobial stewardship is a key component of the One Health mission to address AMR yet the most effective ways in which to achieve reduced or optimized prescription are still unclear.

“In France and Germany, for instance, a restrictive approach is currently favoured while the EU has also recently introduced restrictions on the use of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine. In contrast, in the UK and USA, a more enablement focused approach has been adopted. During our session we will explore how these different approaches are working in practice and what lessons can be learned. Gaining a better understanding of ways in which we can optimize prescribing is critical if we are to mitigate the threat from AMR and will enable us to support policy makers across the world who are urgently seeking strategies that will most successfully influence human behaviour in this area.”

Dr Fergus Allerton

The WSAVA Therapeutics Guidelines Group is working to ensure best practice in the selection and use of medicines including their quality, availability and responsible use in companion animals while engaging participation of stakeholders and the WSAVA Global Community under the concept of One Health. Its work is generously supported by Zoetis.

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.

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