The FishMedPlus Coalition was established in December 2015 for a 3 year period, follows a 3-step working approach. The aim of the Coalition is to improve the availability of authorised medicines, including vaccines, for aquatic species in the EU and EFTA countries. The availability of veterinary medicinal products for use in farmed aquatic animals is currently extremely low. This situation is a serious constraint on the prevention and treatment of disease, leading to welfare problems and hampering the growth of European Aquaculture. For this reason, many organisations active in the field of aquatic medicines came together to work collaboratively to find a solution to this problem.

3-step approach taken:

Step 1: Gap Analysis

In order to know which veterinary medicines are urgently needed, in 2016 the Coalition undertook a gap analysis. The aim was to identify the critical diseases or indications for which little or no treatment options are available.

The Coalition focused on salmon, trout, seabass, seabream and carp, which together are making up more than 94% of the weight of production in Europe.

Parasite infections are a main cause of concern in all the fish species examined. Treatment to common parasites often lacks efficacy or is not available. Secondary bacterial infection can occur between parasitic and bacterial diseases. To prevent bacterial diseases occurring (and the need to treat with antibiotics) it is necessary to be able to effectively treat parasitic infections.

The full gap analysis outcome can be seen underneath.

Step 2: Identifying barriers and solutions

Currently the Coalition is finalising the work of step 2; identifying solutions to overcome barriers to having more aquatic medicines available.

The availability of authorized aquatic vaccines and veterinary medicines can be facilitated in a number of ways, namely:

1. Via authorization of new medicines or vaccines through stimulating the animal health industry to invest more into research and development of fish medicinal products and vaccines
2. Via extending the marketing authorization of already authorized products between countries (Mutual Recognition Procedure (MRP))
3. Via extending existing marketing authorizations to other species via line extensions
4. Via stimulating industry to invest

The full barriers and solutions document will be published around end 2018.

FishMedPlus congratulates CMDv for publishing on their website the list of all Fish Medicines licensed in the EU. To see the list, click here

Note: The Coalition is chaired by Simon Doherty and previously  Peter Jones on behalf of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and exists of 12 experts both from the aquaculture industry, academia, legislators, the animal health industry and the veterinary profession.