New resources give nuts and bolts of judicious use

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Since November 1998, when the AVMA approved its principles on Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials, the Association has promoted them to help veterinarians make informed therapeutic decisions.

Soon a set of practical resources elucidating the principles will be available to guide practitioners.

Species-specific brochures, a video, and a set of speeches are in various stages of development. Initiated by the AVMA, the project involved collaboration with the FDA-CVM, which provided the financial support.

FDA-CVM director, Dr. Stephen Sundlof said, "CVM welcomes efforts undertaken by outside groups to help reduce the threat of antimicrobial resistance. In particular, we appreciate the initiative taken by AVMA to develop judicious use principles. AVMA is not only helping to preserve the effectiveness of antimicrobial products for use in veterinary medicine, but it is also helping to ensure the safety of food from animals treated with antimicrobials.

"CVM is pleased to work with AVMA by funding the Association's development of extensive brochures, speeches, and the script for a videotape explaining judicious use principles. AVMA's willingness to partner with us will result in greater food safety."

Last year when the agency issued a request for development of educational proposals relating to judicious use, the AVMA bid on it and was awarded a $75,000 contract for developing the materials.

"First, we were to prepare written material for beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, and originally for turkeys and broilers, but we combined those two into poultry," explained Dr. Lyle P. Vogel, director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division and staff consultant to the Steering Committee on Judicious Therapeutic Antimicrobial Use.

After consulting members of the steering committee, Dr. Vogel drafted an introduction and explanation of the AVMA's principles, for the brochures. Then the American Association of Avian Pathologists, American Association of Swine Practitioners, and American Association of Bovine Practitioners independently developed the four sections applicable to poultry, swine, and dairy and beef cattle, respectively. The organizations received $5,000 for each section they prepared.

Next to be developed by the AVMA were a storyboard and script for a video presentation, and a set of speeches in three lengths that explain the judicious use principles.

Veterinarians are the primary audience for all three resources. The video, brochures, and speeches will also be meaningful for veterinary students. Livestock producers and other laypersons may also find the resources useful.

The AVMA turned over all three projects to the FDA, which is printing the brochures and will produce the video.

An FDA spokesman said the agency is in the process of deciding the most effective methods of distributing each resource. AVMA convention attendees in Salt Lake City were able to preview photocopies of the species-specific brochures at the FDA booth.