By: Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA chief executive officer
The release today of a list of companies and their antimicrobial products that will no longer be used for growth promotion and will require veterinary oversight for use in food animals shows that a voluntary program instituted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will benefit both animal and human health.
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. The FDA’s list serves as confirmation that the voluntary process is working and is effective.
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. 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.