Message from our Secretary General
In early 2015, I was very happy to be appointed as the new Secretary General of the International Federation for Animal Health – Europe. To join the federation at such a crucial time, when the EU is in the middle of revising the sector’s governing Regulation, has been a challenging yet also very rewarding experience. In this annual report, we provide an overview of a few key highlights from the past year.
Animal health was at the forefront of EU policy-making in 2015. Not only did the EU formally adopt its long-awaited new framework legislation on Transmissible Animal Diseases, the European Parliament also began its first reading of the proposals for new Regulations on both Veterinary Medicinal Products and Medicated Feed. As a result, it has been a very busy year for our industry, where we sought to build on our strengths of joint collaboration and knowledge-sharing amongst association and company members, as well as with our fellow stakeholders.
Innovation through a more streamlined Regulation on Veterinary Medicines
IFAH-Europe strives towards securing an innovative and competitive market place of widely accessible, safe and effective quality veterinary medicines. With the complexities of the current system, there is an inordinately high administrative burden for veterinary medicines which has contributed to a 20% drop in the innovation rate. Through various meetings and exchanges with the institutions in 2015, we have been calling for a reduction in the administrative burden to increase the availability of medicines - especially for minor species and smaller countries – and for extended data protection periods to incentivise those involved in the research and development of new medicines to treat and prevent animal disease.
Valuing all treatment options for sick animals through harmonised rules for medicated feed
We were happy to see a move towards more harmonised rules for medicated feed across the EU in 2015. IFAH-Europe agrees that unjustified preventive treatment with antibiotics is unacceptable. Allowing for veterinarians to treat sick animals through the use of approved medicines in feed - an important and sometimes optimal administration route – offers an additional and practical method of ensuring the continuous healthcare of Europe’s animals and a safe and sustainable food production.
Ensuring Responsible Use of medicines in animals to combat antimicrobial resistance
Alongside all the work on the legislative review, as you will see later in the report, 2015 was very much a key year for highlighting the industry’s efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Promoting Responsible Use of our products coupled with both monitoring of their use and monitoring of the resistance development were our key priorities, together with encouraging innovation towards new solutions and ensuring a One Health approach to policies developed on this matter.
Facing new challenges head on
Our secretariat has of course been busy throughout the year monitoring the various issues impacting the veterinary medicines sector and looks forward in 2016 to further developing and implementing strategies in areas such as pharmaceuticals in the environment, animal welfare and innovation.
IFAH-Europe has a rich history of close dialogue with regulators and stakeholders, and possesses an authoritative voice in animal and veterinary science, research and regulatory compliance. In 2016, we will continue to make our voice heard and strive towards fostering a legislative and regulatory environment that not only encourages, but also enhances, the development of new and innovative veterinary medicines.
Roxane Feller, Secretary General
IFAH-Europe represents companies that research, develop and manufacture veterinary medicines in Europe. For more information please see our website and leaflet