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FDA Releases Annual Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed in 2018 for Use in Food-Producing Animals

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the 2018 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals, which showed that domestic sales and distribution of medically important antimicrobials for use in food-producing animals increased nine percent between 2017 and 2018. Despite this increase, 2018 is the second-lowest year on record and the overall trend continues to indicate that ongoing efforts to support antimicrobial stewardship are having an impact: sales in 2018 are down 21 percent since 2009, the first year of reporting, and down 38 percent since 2015, the peak year of sales and distribution. [Source: FDA 10 Dec 2019]

While sales data do not necessarily reflect actual antimicrobial use, sales volume observed over time is a valuable indicator of market changes related to antimicrobial drug products intended for food-producing animals. However, when evaluating the progress of ongoing efforts to support judicious use of antimicrobials, it is important to take into account additional information sources including actual use data, animal demographics, animal health data, and data on resistance.

FDA's objective is to slow the development of antimicrobial resistance and preserve the effectiveness of antimicrobials for fighting disease in animals and humans. The agency's aim is not simply measured by a reduction in sales volume of antimicrobials, but also includes fostering good antimicrobial stewardship practices by optimizing the use of these products and limiting their use in animals to only when necessary to treat, control, or prevent disease.

FDA recognizes that fluctuations in sales volume may occur over time in response to various factors, including changing animal health needs or changes in animal populations. Given the substantial change that occurred with transitioning a large number of products containing medically important antimicrobials from over-the-counter use to a marketing status requiring veterinary oversight at the beginning of 2017, some rebound in the reported sales volume for 2018 was not unexpected as affected stakeholders adjusted to the new requirements.

Read the full article, including considerations to make when reading the report, at FDA.