NPR Reports on FDA’s Stricter Regulations Regarding Antimicrobial Medications for Animals

The FDA is implementing new regulations around antimicrobial drugs for animals. From now on, veterinarians must prescribe all antimicrobial medication for animals, including those that can usually be found over the counter. William Flynn, the Deputy Director at the Center for Veterinary Medicine, joined NPR’s Scott Simon to discuss the new rule. According to Flynn, having veterinarians involved in the process will improve both animal and human health. Veterinarians can ensure that diseases are accurately diagnosed and the appropriate course of action is taken, including determining whether antimicrobial therapy is necessary. This can help reduce the rate at which bacteria develop resistance to the drug.

Antimicrobial resistance is a concern for both animals and humans. Bacteria can develop mechanisms to evade therapies and develop resistance, leading to diseases that we cannot treat effectively. To prevent this, the FDA is taking a concerted effort to preserve the effectiveness of antimicrobial products in all areas, including animal and human health. Even rare ways of medicating farm animals like injections and pills must now fall under regulation. The transition to veterinary oversight or prescription status for these drugs started in 2017, and now all antimicrobial products for animals must be prescribed by a veterinarian.

Overall, these new regulations will ensure that antimicrobial drugs are used appropriately and only when necessary. It will also encourage pet owners and farmers to consult with a veterinarian before self-prescribing or administering medication to their animals. The FDA’s goal is to slow down the rate of bacterial resistance and preserve the effectiveness of these drugs for both animals and humans.

It is important to note that NPR’s transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor, and the text may not be in its final form. For more information, visit www.npr.org.

 

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