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Antimicrobial Resistance
Antimicrobial use: the need to act responsibly
  1. J. Atkinson
  1. Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3LS
  1. e-mail j.atkinson{at}

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Jackie Atkinson, director of authorisations at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, discusses how the issue of antimicrobial resistance is being addressed at a European level and what veterinary practitioners can do to ensure they are using antimicrobials responsibly

THE Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is responsible for issuing and maintaining marketing authorisations for veterinary medicinal products containing antimicrobials. As part of this responsibility, it has to consider the issue of antimicrobial resistance and the implications of this for both animal and human health. It also has other responsibilities relating to antimicrobials in the following areas: pharmacovigilance (adverse event monitoring), in particular in cases of suspected lack of efficacy in animals; collection of data on sales of antimicrobial veterinary medicines; surveillance for antimicrobial resistance in animals; and commissioning research. It is also responsible for policy and legislation relating to antimicrobials and their use in animals.

In November last year, the European Commission's Directorate General for Health and Consumers published an ‘Action plan against the rising threats of antimicrobial resistance’, to coincide with the …

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