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62 Percent of 2013 Animal Antibiotics Sales Were Medically Important Drugs

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-what-good-antibiotics-image28584115Federal data released last week show that sales of medically important antimicrobials used in food-producing animals in the U.S. increased by 3 percent in 2013 and by 20 percent between 2009 and 2013.

The Food and Drug Administration’s 2013 Summary Report of the information animal drug sponsors are required by the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA) to report every year reflects data from the year prior to the agency’s announcement of its judicious use strategy for these antimicrobials.

In December 2013, FDA announced Guidance for Industry #213, which asks animal pharmaceutical companies to remove growth-promotion claims from medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, and the agency’s proposed rule implementing the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), which aims to ensure that the products can no longer be used without veterinary oversight.

In 2013, sales of medically important antimicrobials accounted for 62 percent of all antimicrobials approved for use in food animals. Of these sales, tetracyclines accounted for 71 percent, penicillins for 9 percent, macrolides for 6 percent, sulfonamides for 4 percent, aminoglycosides for 3 percent, lincosamides for 3 percent, and cephalosporins for less than 1 percent.

Last fall, FDA released its summary of 2012 data with an expanded level of detail. But an ongoing issue with the ADUFA data for public health is that sales and distribution information is not directly correlated with how the drugs are actually used.

Public health advocates, who would like to see the report include information about use by species and the actual purposes of administration, often reference the level of detail in the Danish Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring and Research Program (DANMAP) when talking about banning non-therapeutic uses in U.S. meat production.

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