At the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, Elanco Animal Health president Jeff Simmons revealed his company’s new antibiotic stewardship plan. (Elanco Animal Health is a division of the Eli Lilly drug company.) Some of the aspects of the plan are already in place, Simmons said, while others are additional intentions. The eight points of the plan are:
- Working with food producers and retailers to provide training and encourage policies that reduce the use of antibiotics used in both animal and human medicine and increase veterinarian oversight (what Simmons referred to as further execution of Food and Drug Administration Guidance #209 and #213).
- No more marketing of growth promotion uses for shared-class antibiotics and complete full regulatory change to end growth promotion use of shared-class antibiotics globally by the end of 2016.
- Eliminating continuous use of shared-class antibiotics for therapy purposes by providing alternatives.
- Eliminating over-the-counter sales of shared-class antibiotics globally — including injectable products — where veterinarian oversight exists.
- Eliminating concurrent use of shared-class antibiotics to treat the same disease.
- Supporting veterinary oversight and responsible use.
- Developing new animal-only antibiotics.
- Creating alternatives to animal antibiotics — Elanco currently has 25 candidates in its pipeline and aims to develop 10 that address diseases where there are few, or no, alternatives to shared-class antibiotics.
Simmons also said that in one year, Elanco will host an animal health accountability summit to provide a progress report on its efforts. During the opening session of the White House forum, Simmons participated in a panel discussion alongside Frank Yiannas of Walmart, Donnie Smith of Tyson Foods, Dr. Jonathan Perlin of the Hospital Corporation of America, and Dr. John Loome of Genesis HealthCare. When asked how the federal government can help in the fight against antibiotic resistance, Simmons responded that it should accelerate regulatory approvals for new animal-only drug approvals, modernize data collection (“We need more data around demonstration of responsible use,” he said), standardize efforts across the country, and protect intellectual property. What the government shouldn’t do, Simmons said, is let policy get ahead of science. “We must not enact regulations or policies that would move faster than the science … and jeopardize animal health, jeopardize food safety and jeopardize food security,” he said. After the public session, which included speeches from various administration officials and the panel, the 150 attendees split up into two private sessions with one focused on human health and the other on animal health. Policy analysts with the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition said they thought the forum lacked the perspectives of consumer groups and public health communities. Steve Roach, KAW senior analyst, said, “We are troubled by the fact that most of the consumer advocacy organizations that have been working to combat antibiotic resistance related to animal agriculture, some for decades now, were not invited to participate in today’s White House summit.”