Recording antibiotic prescriptions in veterinary medicine

The Information System on Antibiotics in Veterinary Medicine (IS ABV) records all antibiotic treatments administered by veterinarians. The IS ABV allows the causes of high antibiotic deployment to be investigated and for targeted measures to be developed. 

The IS ABV records, on a mandatory basis, the consumption of antibiotics by livestock and pets. Since the beginning of 2019, veterinarians have been required to record treatment of animal groups. As from 1 October 2019, antibiotic treatments for individual animals and prophylactic dispensing are also recorded. Only topical antibiotics that are merely applied locally (such as antibiotic ointments, eye drops or ear drops) are excluded.

The IS ABV is designed to be user-friendly, and an interface to most medical-office software packages has been provided by the developers.

The data catalogue in the IS ABV has been explicitly restricted to what is necessary. Compulsory data nonetheless lead to an additional workload for veterinarians, who thus make an additional contribution to the control of antibiotic resistance. Recent years have seen a significant reduction in the distribution of antibiotics for veterinary usage. Mainly the decline in sales volumes of crucial antibiotics shows that far-reaching improvements are possible when deployed properly.

The introduction of IS ABV has for the most part gone smoothly, and a large majority of veterinary practices and clinics have registered in the IS ABV and record antibiotic prescriptions. So far, 1’045’390 prescriptions have been registered, including 872’187 for individual animals, 17’420 group treatments and 155’783 prophylactic dispensations. The data are currently being verified for accuracy, with initial evaluations expected to be communicated in autumn 2020.

The newly acquired data on antibiotic consumption will provide valuable insights. Veterinarians and keepers of animals can in future draw conclusions about antibiotic usage in their own practice and among their own livestock, respectively. Furthermore, the data will allow a regional, national and international comparison of antibiotic consumption. If there is any indication of excessive or improper use of antibiotics, specific investigations into possible causes can be introduced.
The data also allow assessment of whether current measures are effective or whether additional steps are necessary. The aim is to ensure the long-term efficacy of antibiotics in order to protect the health of humans and animals.  

Last modification 08.09.2020

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