On September 14, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) unveiled its five-year action plan for supporting antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings. This plan builds upon the important steps CVM has taken to eliminate production uses of medically important antimicrobials (i.e., antimicrobials important for treating human disease) and to bring all remaining therapeutic uses of these drugs under the oversight of licensed veterinarians. It also supports the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals and is driven by the concept that medically important antimicrobial drugs should only be used in animals when necessary for the treatment, control or prevention of specific diseases.
As part of its regulatory mission, CVM is responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of animal drugs, including antimicrobials, and coordinates the development and implementation of regulations and policies pertaining to antimicrobial drugs intended for use in animals. Supporting Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Settings: Goals for Fiscal Years 2019-2023 is CVM’s blueprint for guiding its activities over the next five years to combat antimicrobial resistance and preserve the effectiveness of antimicrobial drugs. This includes applying a risk-based approach to evaluate new and currently approved antimicrobial products for animals, collaborating with key stakeholders to support stewardship of these products by end users, and collecting data on resistance and antimicrobial use to monitor the effectiveness of these actions to slow the development of resistance.
CVM plans to initiate the actions outlined in this document in phases over the next five fiscal years. This phased approach will allow for adjustments based on critical, science-based analysis, public health impact, and feedback from stakeholders. In the coming years, CVM will further engage stakeholders and the public as it develops and implements the strategies for addressing individual actions identified in this plan.
As reflected in the remarks made today by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., CVM’s plan is part of a broader agency-wide strategy for combating antimicrobial resistance in both veterinary and human health care settings, including efforts to facilitate product development to ensure a robust pipeline of safe and effective treatments that can combat resistant organisms.