Newswise — Today, U.S. regulators and representatives from national food production industries will meet to discuss “Improving Antimicrobial Use in Food Animal Production: Alternatives, Options and Incentives,” in Washington, DC. The National Stakeholder meeting convened by the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics is intended to identify concrete approaches to promote judicious use of antibiotics, in order to preserve their efficacy to treat disease in humans and animals, while ensuring a safe, stable and affordable food supply. Participants will evaluate feasible alternatives to current, non-therapeutic/ preventive antimicrobial use in food animal production and incentives.
Dr. Stuart B. Levy, Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and APUA president and Dr. Joann Lindenmayer,Associate Professor of Public Health at Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, will co-chair the meeting. Participants include representatives from government, agriculture, food and animal health.
The meeting is very timely, following FDA’s recent issue of three voluntary guidance documents for industry, including the finalized Guidance 209, “The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals”, which limits use of important antimicrobials necessary to human health to those “necessary” for safeguarding animal health. Uses of antimicrobials to promote growth or feed efficiency—as opposed to disease treatment, do not comply with judicious use principles and guidance. In addition, for the first time the FDA proposes to subject uses of these medically important drugs to authorization by a veterinarian, similar to prescription requirements in human health. The FDA guidance responds to public health calls to minimize antimicrobial resistance, resulting from the selection pressure created by inappropriate use of antibiotics in both humans and animals. Dr. Levy notes that “while the FDA guidance represents a sea change in perspective, it is voluntary, so will require industry to take the lead”. The APUA sponsored meeting will explore alternatives for infection prevention and control practices, which would facilitate compliance with FDA guidance.
APUA, the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (www.apua.org), founded in 1981, is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the power of existing antibiotics and increasing access to needed new agents. APUA represents the largest field presence among organizations engaged in research, education, and advocacy to improve public policy and antibiotic treatment practices worldwide.