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The development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a complex phenomenon with multiple factors contributing to the issue. There is little doubt that over time any use of an antibiotic in people and in animals can result in increased bacterial resistance. That is why initiatives to combat resistance must include responsible use of antibiotic products in people and in animals.

Zoetis is committed to protecting the effectiveness of antibiotics for the long term. This is critical for both human and animal health.

Responsible Use Involves Us All

The World Health Organization in its April 2014 report on antimicrobial resistance surveillance, estimated that more than half of all antibiotic medicines are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately, and that half of all patients fail to take them correctly.1 According to the U.S, Centers for Disease Control, up to 50 percent of all the antibiotics prescribed in human healthcare in the United States are not needed or are not optimally prescribed.2 Responsible use in human health must be part of an action plan to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics.3 According the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Report on Combating Antibiotic Resistance, use of medically important antibiotics in animals can promote the development of antibiotic resistance among bacteria in animals, and these resistant strains do, at least in some cases, spread to humans. However, the extent to which antibiotic resistance in animal agriculture contributes to human infections is not known.3

U.S. Government Establishes a New Course

Zoetis supports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulatory framework for requiring scientific testing and risk assessments to ensure that the medicines we develop are safe for animals and people, through the food we eat. And we support the FDA’s recent policies of furthering veterinary involvement in antibiotic use on the farm and eliminating the use of medically important antibiotics for promoting growth in animals. The resources below discuss these safeguards:

Expert and government reports explain the complexity of antibiotic resistance and propose strategies for dealing with this critical challenge:

Tracking Antibiotic Resistance

The U.S. government closely tracks antibiotic resistance through the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), a cooperative program among the FDA, CDC and USDA. For more information on why this data is collected and how it informs government actions, visit:

Protocols to Help Ensure Responsible Use

Zoetis supports protocols established by the FDA and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for responsible use of antibiotics on the farm to help ensure healthy animals and minimize the development of antibiotic resistance. For in depth information about these protocols, visit:

FDA Guidance for Industry documents: