A 33% decline from 2016 to 2017 in the domestic sales and distribution of all medically important antibiotics used in food animal production was announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Tuesday.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that the decline suggested efforts by the agency to reduce improper use of the drugs were paying off, and that 2017 was the first year medically important antimicrobials “were no longer allowed to be used for growth promotion and could only be obtained through a veterinarian’s order.”
"While it’s impossible to completely outrace antimicrobial resistance, we can take important steps now to slow its pace and reduce its impact on both human and animal health," Gottlieb said.
The 2017 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals also shows a decline of 41% since 2015, the peak year of sales/distribution since the FDA began issuing these annual reports, and a decline of 28 percent since the first sales report which summarized the sales/distribution data for 2009.
“These reductions are an indication that our ongoing efforts to support antimicrobial stewardship are having a significant impact,” Gottlieb said. “While I’m very pleased with the results of the report, and the efforts by all of our stakeholders thus far to improve antimicrobial stewardship, our work isn’t yet done when it comes to fighting antimicrobial resistance.”