The AVMA recently hosted a Veterinary Feed Directive Summit designed to ultimately help veterinarians better serve their clients in light of a new veterinary feed directive process proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.
First, though, let’s provide some background. The collective efforts of many AVMA volunteers and staff members paid dividends when the FDA announced in December 2013 that it would be making significant changes to veterinary feed directive (VFD) regulations that will require veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in livestock. Members of our Steering Committee for FDA Policy on Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobials, as well as AVMA staff, were instrumental in shaping this favorable outcome for the veterinary profession and those veterinarians who work so closely with livestock producers. The changes to the VFD are related to the FDA’s Final Guidance 213, which establishes a three-year timeframe for phasing out growth-promotion uses of antibiotics important in human medicine and the phasing in of veterinary oversight.
Shifting away from over-the-counter status to one requiring veterinary oversight doesn’t come without its challenges, though. Now that nearly all antimicrobial feed additives will transition to VFD drugs, we want to help ensure that the VFD program is as efficient as possible, while keeping in mind the program’s primary goal of protecting human health as well as animal health and welfare. That’s why the AVMA hosted the summit – to gather veterinary experts for a series of table top exercises that explored different VFD scenarios and tested the new VFD process.
The summit proved to be a great success. Participants identified practical, efficient processes and potential obstacles, while also determining areas of improvement. They identified current resources available to assist and support the use of the VFD, and they proposed potential solutions to critical gaps they found in the VFD process.
We’re extremely pleased that the FDA has welcomed our input in this critically important process. FDA representatives attended the summit and we hope that FDA will consider the new information that we’ve gathered as they draft the final rule for VFDs. We’ll keep you updated as things develop!