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:
- FDA Strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance Q&A
- FDA press release: FDA Receives Strong Industry Commitment for its Antibiotic Resistance Strategy
- Zoetis Media Statement on U.S. FDA Guidance #209, #213 and the Draft Veterinary Feed Directive
- Poultry Health Today, Changes Ahead
- International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation fact sheet: Food Animal Antibiotic Approval Process
Expert and government reports explain the complexity of antibiotic resistance and propose strategies for dealing with this critical challenge:
- President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Report on Combating Antibiotic Resistance
- White House Executive Order: Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States
- Institute of Food Technologists, Antimicrobial Resistance: Challenges and Perspectives
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:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Animal Health Institute
- FDA National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System
- USDA Antimicrobial Resistance Overview
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:
- AVMA Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials guidelines
- FDA Judicious Use of Antimicrobials page
FDA Guidance for Industry documents:
- Guidance 152 (Microbial safety, 2003)
- Guidance 209 (Judicious use, 2012)
- Guidance 213 (Alignment with GFI 209, 2013)
- VFD Rule (Changes in Veterinary Feed Directive, proposed)
1. World Health Organization, Antimicrobial Resistance: Global Report On Surveillance 2014.
2. Centers for Disease Control, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the U.S. 2013.
3. Executive Office of the President, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT ON COMBATING ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE. September 20, 2014.
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States