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FDA Issues Plan to Phase Out Antimicrobial Use in Animals

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FDA Issues Plan to Phase Out Antimicrobial Use in Animals

Plan is relevant to medically important antimicrobials, approved for use in food animals

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A plan is being implemented to help phase out the use of medically important antimicrobials in food animals for food production purposes, according to a report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Noting that antimicrobial use in humans and animals can contribute to the development of resistance, the FDA has developed a strategy to help eliminate use of medically important antimicrobials, which are approved for use in feed and water of food animals.

The FDA is calling on animal pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily revise the FDA-approved use conditions on the labels of these products. Furthermore, the plan will implement changes to the current over-the-counter status to enable veterinary oversight of the remaining appropriate therapeutic uses. After making these changes, medically important antimicrobial drugs will no longer be permitted for use in production purposes, and veterinary oversight will be required for their use to treat, control, and prevent disease in animals. Animal pharmaceutical companies are being asked to notify the agency of their intent to comply with the strategy within three months, and will have a three-year transition process.

"Implementing this strategy is an important step forward in addressing antimicrobial resistance," FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor said in a statement. "The FDA is leveraging the cooperation of the pharmaceutical industry to voluntarily make these changes because we believe this approach is the fastest way to achieve our goal."

More Information (http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm378193.htm )