Quality control programmes for veterinary antimicrobial medicines

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Abstract

The health benefits of the antimicrobial's use is inherently associated to the risk of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), an ever-increasing multifactorial problem, closely related with injudicious use of antimicrobials, and the lack of new antimicrobial medicines on the market, particularly for veterinary use. Currently, an increasing number of regulatory “One Health” action plans on AMR are running worldwide, already based on monitoring and surveillance systems for resistance and antimicrobials consumption. Such plans are still not mandatory in the European Union member States (EU-MS), but post marketing annual programmes for quality controls of medicines are, to verify and ensure full compliance with the marketing authorizations. The European “risk level” sampling is not based on the conventional risk-ranking process of severity factors vs the probability of occurrence, but instead, on the conviction that in the European Union (EU) all medicines are produced under good manufacturer practices (GMP) and rigorously controlled for quality by the marketing authorization holders (MAH).

The present paper links poor-quality antimicrobials and AMR, highlighting examples of regulatory initiatives on this subject outside the EU, particularly those resulting from the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. It also intends to trigger a discussion on the role of such quality control programmes, particularly for antimicrobials, beyond the control at any stage of the quality parameters of a marketed medicine, to reflect whether or not it might be relevant to other regulatory coordinated actions against AMR.

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