The AVMA is urging support for federal legislation that promotes animal welfare. The Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act and the Animal Drug User Fee Act would increase the number of drugs available to treat ill animals.
In the United States, there is a critical shortage of approved animal drugs intended for minor uses in major animal species and for minor species. The MUMS bill is intended as a mechanism to provide Food and Drug Administration-authorized drugs for uncommon animal disease conditions in major species and for conditions in minor species where therapies are unavailable.
The legislation would alleviate the shortage of approved animal drugs while maintaining and ensuring the protection of public health. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions introduced the MUMS bill (S. 741) in late March and Mississippi Rep. Charles "Chip" Pickering was expected to introduce the House version at any time.
As for the Animal Drug User Fee Act (S. 313/H.R.1260), it would greatly improve the FDA's ability to process New Animal Drug Applications and would establish greater accountability in the review and approval process. The fees would fund 60 additional product reviewers for the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine.
AVMA members are encouraged to contact their elected representatives, asking them to support both bills. For information on how you can work with your representatives, contact Dr. David Scarfe or Dr. Elizabeth Curry-Galvin, (800) 248-2862 at AVMA headquarters in Illinois; Dr. John Melcher, (202) 546-4084; or Dr. Pamela Abney, (800) 321-1473 in Washington, D.C. In addition, contact information for your congressional representatives is located at www.congressmerge.com/index.htm.