The New Management System Of Marine Antibiotics
Until recently marine antibiotics have not been regulated allowing even farmers to freely purchase them owing to no designation of prescription legend drugs. Therefore, the proper use of antibiotics which has been promoted under the prefectural government was difficult to carry out completely. Medical personnel have pointed out that this practice may have caused antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Due to this background, in April 2016 the Cabinet Office announced, ‘Strengthen the leadership of specialists (e.g. veterinarians, pharmaceutical inspectors, aquatic animal health inspectors) in the use of veterinary antibiotics for farm-raised aquatic animals’ was stipulated in ‘National Action Plan On Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) 2016-2020.’
Beginning on January 1st 2018, a new system has been introduced that requires the involvement of experts in the purchase of marine antibiotics. In this system, the proper use would be further promoted by the involvement of experts (e.g. veterinarians, pharmaceutical inspectors, aquatic animal health inspectors).
Recalling the circumstances when marine antibiotics were excluded from prescription legend drugs, it occurred when the length of veterinary education was extended from 4 to 6 years. Formerly there was no class of fish pathology in the education program and few veterinarians in fishery in those days. Therefore, marine antibiotics seemed not to be categorized in the system of prescription legend drugs. After that, the duration of veterinary program became 6 years, and fishery pathology became a required subject in all veterinary universities, accordingly, some universities established laboratories of fish pathology. That is why veterinarians in fishery have been increasing. When we consider that in foreign countries marine drugs are included in the category of legend drugs, it seems necessary to include marine drugs in the system of prescription drugs that stipulate leadership by specialists. Considering current lack of veterinarians in fishery, however, this new management system seems to be in transition. In the future, we hope that the proper use of antibiotics in fishery will be further promoted to aim at international level.