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

Key findings

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:

Improved reporting

Information on antimicrobials of importance to human medicine

Information on route of administration

Animal species information

Regional information

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.

Next steps

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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