On July 16, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the agency’s work to establish appropriate limits on the duration for veterinary use of all medically important antibiotics. Inappropriate use of antibiotics in all settings, including animal agriculture, can accelerate the emergence of resistant bacteria. Yet many antibiotic labels allow for very long or undefined durations of use, meaning they can be given to animals for weeks or months—or even indefinitely.
Pew and IDSA encourage the agency to quickly implement duration limits where data exist for comparable products, but recognize that the collection of new data will be necessary for some antibiotics. The letter lists criteria to help FDA establish a systematic, data-driven process for prioritizing the remaining animal antibiotics that need additional data most urgently.