Monitoring antimicrobial usage in companion animals: exploring the use of the Danish VetStat database

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In the Danish Veterinary Statistics Program, VetStat, sales data on medicinal products prescribed for veterinary consumption is collected. The Danish Food and Veterinary Administration (DVFA) manages the database and each purchase contains detailed product‑specific information linked with a species‑specific ID. National surveillance systems are also implemented or being developed in the other European Union Member States. By 2029, all Member States are required to report data on antimicrobial usage for companion animals to the European Medicines Agency. This study aimed to assess the challenges encountered when using the VetStat database to quantify antimicrobial use in Danish companion animals. Raw VetStat data were propagated by the DVFA and originated from veterinary practitioners and Danish pharmacies. Comprehensive estimates of antimicrobial use in Danish companion animals were not readily available due to database construct. Antimicrobials sold for use in companion animals (linked to a companion animal ID) comprised a large number of products licensed solely for horses or livestock, while data assigned a replacement code encompassed both topical and peroral antimicrobials licensed for companion animals. Additionally, antimicrobials sold from pharmacies to veterinary practitioners presented the biggest challenge in data retrieval and validation. Treatment data are only transferred to VetStat through the billing systems when Danish veterinarians are treating livestock, but not companion animals. Information on products sold for in‑house use in companion animals is only available from pharmacy records without a species‑specific ID. As a result, parenteral antimicrobials with multi‑species authorization utilized by small animal veterinary practitioners are not accounted for in the overall estimate for companion animals. Owing to the database structure and requirements for data entry, antimicrobial use in companion animals is an approximation. The actual consumption may be significantly higher than what is currently calculated from the database, as the majority of parenteral products are not included. Consumption data can be measured more accurately provided treatment data from veterinary practitioners in small or mixed practices are transferred to the database through the billing system. This would equal the legal requirements for Danish veterinary practitioners treating livestock.
TidsskriftActa Veterinaria Scandinavica
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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