FDA Unveils 5-Year Plan to Fight Antimicrobial Resistance

September 17, 2018
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine is instituting a 5-year plan to support antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings.

The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has revealed its 5-year plan to address antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings. According to the agency, the plan builds on the steps the CVM has taken to eliminate production uses of medically important antimicrobials—such as those used to treat human disease—and to bring all other therapeutic uses of antimicrobials under the oversight of licensed veterinarians.

“The CDC estimates that in the United States alone, every year at least 2 million people develop serious infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, like MRSA,” said FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, MD. “And, at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. We can’t count on outracing drug resistance. But we can use stewardship and science to slow its pace and reduce its impact on human and animal health.”

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Officially titled Supporting Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Settings: Goals for Fiscal Years 2019-2023, the document serves as a roadmap for guiding the CVM over the next 5 years to combat antimicrobial resistance. Three key focus areas are included in the plans:

  • Applying a risk-based approach to evaluate new and currently approved antimicrobial products for animals
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders to support stewardship of these products
  • Collecting data on resistance and antimicrobial use to monitor the effectiveness of these actions.

The CVM is optimistic that using a long-term phased approach will allow for adjustments based on analysis, public health impact, and stakeholder feedback.

“The FDA has determined that about 40% of approved medically important antimicrobial drugs used in the feed and water of food-producing animals include at least 1 indication that doesn’t have a defined duration of use,” Dr. Gottlieb said.

A new webpage has also been added to the FDA website to document the progress being made in the FDA’s fight to curb antimicrobial resistance.

“I’m confident that the efforts we’re launching today, and the ones that we’ll continue in the months and years to come, will help us achieve our goal of facilitating stewardship and advancing innovation across human and animal health, within our borders and across them,” he concluded.