Animal Health Experts Call for Balanced Regulation to Ensure Availability of Veterinary Medicines (Distributed by prbuzz) – At the 2nd Global Animal Health Conference, which concluded yesterday, international experts highlighted the urgent need for a balanced regulatory environment which allows for innovation in the development of veterinary medicines. Over 100 animal health experts from around the world participated in the two day conference organised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH) and the Drug Information Association (DIA). Following the conclusion of the conference, IFAH Executive Director Barbara Freischem stated: “We are very pleased with the turnout as well as the content of the conference, which we hope has highlighted a vital and growing concern for the development of animal medicines. The demands of a growing population make it vital that we work even more cooperatively to ensure innovation and availability of medicines and treatments. Partnering with the European Medicines Agency and DIA to address these highly relevant issues, as well as some of the leading minds in our industry, we have been able to share valuable insights. Though the Animal Health industry comprises only a fraction of the global pharmaceutical market, almost two-thirds of the diseases we know about can pass between animals and people. Consistent, effective regulation allows for additional research and innovation as increasing widespread medicine availability provides the whole world with the capacity to respond quickly to disease outbreaks, which is vital to protect both animal health and public health.” At the conference it was recognised that there is a mutual benefit to industry and regulatory authorities sharing their knowledge and expertise as new technologies emerge. IFAH President Eric Marée said: “Through conferences such as this, we hope to help promote an environment that facilitates the supply of innovative, quality products in a safe, consistently regulated and competitive market place. However, the regulatory hurdles currently faced by the industry can sometimes exceed even those of human health products. Governments and regulators need to take the lead in ensuring a science-based, balanced environment that is equitably enforced. This is particularly important for developing countries, where part of the challenge is getting enough quality products on the markets to treat the relevant diseases. In emerging economies, with often significant agricultural exports, the challenge is to satisfy the requirements of the developed markets they supply while ensuring availability of locally needed products. Harmonisation of regulation for animal medicines would allow treatments to quickly become available across the world.” David Mackay, Head of the Veterinary Medicines and Inspections Unit of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded: “Availability is a complex issue. It involves creating the right environment for new products to reach as wide a market as possible and for existing products to stay on the market provided their benefits continue to outweigh any risks. This conference provided a unique opportunity for regulators to explore in depth how to strike the right balance between protecting public and animal health while not introducing unnecessary requirements or excessive delays that would impact negatively on availability."