The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) applauds recent actions taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that will allow for greater veterinary oversight of the use of antimicrobials in food animals.
“This move by the FDA is one that we have worked toward for some time now, and we are pleased that veterinarians will be even more involved in overseeing the use and administration of antimicrobials on the farm,” said AVMA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ron DeHaven.
The release of a list of companies and their antimicrobial products that will no longer be used for growth promotion and will require veterinary oversight shows that a voluntary program instituted by the FDA is working and is effective, DeHaven said. The FDA list comes after the agency released Final Guidance 213 last year that establishes a three-year timeframe for phasing out growth-promotion uses of antibiotics important in human medicine and phasing in of veterinary oversight.
“The AVMA has long advocated that judicious use of antimicrobials and greater veterinary oversight on the farm benefit human and animal health,” DeHaven said. “The FDA’s list serves as confirmation that the voluntary process is one that can produce positive results.”
According to the FDA list, the 25 companies who intend to engage in the judicious use strategy by withdrawing approvals relating to any production uses and changing the status of their drugs from over-the-counter to use by veterinary feed directive or prescription hold 99.6 percent of the drug applications affected by Guidance 213.
“The FDA has said that they are encouraged by the response from these companies, and the AVMA is equally pleased to see that so many of these companies are willing to participate for the greater good of animals and people,” DeHaven said. “The AVMA believes that veterinarians should strive to optimize the therapeutic efficacy of, and minimize resistance to, antimicrobials. The actions of the companies on this list reflect that position, and we believe these actions will benefit both animal and public health.”