2018 Veterinary Antimicrobial Sales Highlights Report
Working towards the preservation of effective antimicrobials for humans and animals
Regulatory changes to the Food and Drug Regulations for annual sales reporting came into force in 2017 to increase oversight of antimicrobials available for use in animals, to support antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance and antimicrobial stewardship. These changes require manufacturers, importers and compounders to report annual sales of medically important antimicrobials intended for use in animals (those important to human medicine; as outlined on List A). Prior to these changes, distribution data were provided voluntarily by the veterinary drug industry association to the Public Health Agency of Canada, through the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS).
To implement the regulatory reporting requirements, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada developed the Veterinary Antimicrobial Sales Reporting (VASR) system.
The VASR system collects data on volumes of antimicrobials and total quantity sold or compounded by animal species, and by province/territory. The reporting year reflects data collected for the period of January 1 to December 31.
- Antimicrobials are grouped according to their importance to human medicine and the report reflects our integration, analysis and interpretation of submitted data
- Sales of antimicrobials may not reflect patterns of antimicrobial use
- Data in this highlights report, where possible, should be considered with end-user information
The first year of key findings provide a comprehensive picture of antimicrobials available for use in animals in Canada and is complementary to the voluntary data provided in 2018 by the industry association:
- Robust reporting by including sales data from all manufacturers, as well as importers:
- Antimicrobial sales from manufacturers and importers in 2018 were 8% more in kg (~85,000 kg) in the VASR data compared to the 2018 voluntarily reported data from the veterinary drug industry association
- Compounders reported 46,089 kg of active ingredients compounded or sold
- Estimates of antimicrobial sales reported for several animal species
Information on antimicrobials of importance to human medicine
- Manufacturers represented 90% of the total kg of active ingredients reported and importers represented 6%
- Top classes of antimicrobials sold by manufacturers and importers were: tetracyclines, macrolides, penicillins, sulfonamides and bacitracins
- Total sales by volume of antimicrobials important to human medicine were: Category III (medium importance) ~66%, Category II (high importance) ~32%, and Category I (very high importance) less than 1%
- Compounders represented 4% of the total kg of active ingredients reported
- The majority of antimicrobials sold by compounders were Category II (~97%). The top classes reported were diaminopyrimidine-sulfonamide combinations and penicillins
- Approximately 1% of the total sales were Category I (very high importance) antimicrobials
Information on route of administration
- The majority (92%) of antimicrobials sold by volume were intended for use via feed or water
Animal species information
- Majority (in kg) sold were intended for use in pigs, cattle, poultry and fish
- Adjusting for the number of animals and their weights (i.e. mg drug per kg of animal), the majority of sales were intended for use in pigs, poultry, fish and cattle
- The largest volume of antimicrobials sold for use in animals were reported to be in Ontario, Québec, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia, which are the major animal-producing provinces
- The VASR data provides new sales information for the territories
Informing other initiatives
The VASR data, in particular the animal species information, strengthen the knowledge of antimicrobial sales intended for use in animals in Canada. For example, the sales data may inform ongoing responsible use initiatives including the pre-market as well as post-market evaluation of medically important antimicrobials.
The VASR system findings will be published by the Public Health Agency of Canada as part of its CIPARS annual surveillance reports, which are made publically available.
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