August 10, 2018
US FDA to implement five-year plan for promoting "antimicrobial stewardship"
In a statement released on July 31, Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), acknowledged the importance of good antimicrobial stewardship practices in human healthcare and veterinary settings.
While there has been worldwide concerns about antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobials, when used judiciously, can effectively control bacterial infections, according to Gottlieb.
"We must continue to take new steps to slow the development of resistance and extend the usefulness of these lifesaving drugs," he said. "Combating antimicrobial resistance continues to be a top priority for the (FDA).
The FDA, Gottlieb revealed, will be implementing a five-year plan on how the agency will build its current programmes "to advance antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings." This blueprint consists of key goals, objectives and actions which the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) will focus on during fiscal years 2019-2023.
"We will expand on the FDA's existing actions, and launch some new programmes. Our aim is to reduce overuse of antimicrobial drugs and combat the rising threat of resistance," Gottlieb elaborated.
In addition, the CVM had taken critical steps "to update the approved conditions of use for medically important antimicrobials to support judicious use in food-producing animals."
"At FDA, we believe that the concept of antimicrobial stewardship encompasses several important principles of judicious use. These are critical to slowing the rate at which bacteria develop resistance to antimicrobial drugs," Gottlieb said.
"In simple terms, we believe medically important antimicrobial drugs should only be used when necessary to treat, control or prevent disease. In addition, when such use is necessary, these antimicrobials should be used in an optimal manner. They should only be used under the oversight of a licensed veterinarian."
The full version of Gottlieb's statement can be accessed here: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm615245.htm