USA, Silver Spring. The US Food and Drug Administration announced that domestic sales and distribution of all medically important antimicrobials intended for use in food-producing animals decreased by 33% between years 2016 and 2017.
The 2017 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals also shows that domestic sales and distribution of all medically important antimicrobials decreased 43% since 2015 (peak year of sales/distribution) and decreased 28% since the first year of reported sales in 2009.
While sales data do not necessarily reflect actual antimicrobial use, the reduction in sales volume observed in 2016 and 2017 is an important indicator that ongoing efforts to support antimicrobial stewardship are having a significant impact.
Sales and distribution data provide insight regarding the quantity of antimicrobial drugs entering the marketplace. The substantial reduction in the quantity of these drugs sold or distributed in 2017 demonstrates that ongoing stewardship efforts, including those initiated by FDA and other key stakeholders, are having a measurable impact.
At the same time, it is critical to remember that FDA’s primary goal with initiatives like GFI #213 and the Center for Veterinary Medicine’s five-year action plan is not to reduce antimicrobial sales volume, but rather, to support the implementation of good antimicrobial stewardship practices in order to slow the development of antimicrobial resistance. Optimizing how antimicrobial drugs are used and limiting their use to only when necessary to treat, control, or prevent disease will help to preserve the effectiveness of these drugs for fighting disease in both humans and animals.
Although sales data provide insight regarding antimicrobial drugs entering the marketplace, it is also important to consider additional sources of information when assessing progress of efforts to foster judicious antimicrobial use, including actual use data, animal demographics and animal health data, and data on resistance.
The agency continues to work with federal, academic, and industry partners to obtain more information about how, when, and why animal producers and veterinarians use medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals. The FDA plans to publish a report in 2019 that integrates and analyzes these other data sources to more fully assess the progress of antimicrobial stewardship efforts.
While the 2017 annual summary report demonstrates measurable progress and the FDA appreciates all the efforts by stakeholders, more work is needed to address antimicrobial resistance. CVM’s five-year action plan outlines additional steps that the agency intends to take to foster antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings.