AVMA president testifies on Capitol Hill to expedite animal drug review

Dr. Topper

Dr. Topper giving his testimony on Wednesday – Photo courtesy of U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce

AVMA President Dr. Michael Topper appeared yesterday before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health to testify in favor of reauthorizing Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fees. This legislation is vital to increasing pharmaceutical resources available to veterinarians.

Passage of animal drug user fee amendments would reauthorize the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine to continue collecting animal drug and animal generic drug user fees from the drugs’ sponsors. These fees go toward expediting the review of animal drugs.

“By providing new animal drugs with a predictable pathway to market, these fees help provide veterinarians with access to new and additional tools that can potentially improve treatment outcomes, provide alternatives to existing therapies, fill unmet medical needs in veterinary medicine, and ultimately improve patient care, which is the center of veterinary practice,” Dr. Topper told the committee.

Efficient review of these drugs is particularly important because there simply aren’t enough FDA-approved drugs for use in animals. In fact, there are 23 times more labeled indications approved for human use than approved for animal use.

As veterinarians treat seven major species and innumerable minor species with a diversity of conditions, additional access to pharmaceutical drugs is critical.

You can read Dr. Topper’s full testimony here. His testimony was part of the AVMA’s ongoing advocacy work in support of drug user fees to help increase veterinary access to FDA-approved drugs. Our staff will continue working with Congress and the FDA on this issue.

Additional testimony was provided by: Dr. Bill Zollers, chairman of the Generic Animal Drug Alliance; Dr. Rachel Cumberbatch, director at the Animal Health Institute; and Dr. Steven Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

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