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White House expands on antibiotic resistance plan

White House expands on antibiotic resistance plan

White House on Friday releases more details on a national plan to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria

The White House on Friday released more information on its plan to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including efforts to work with a variety of industries like healthcare and agriculture in preventing and containing outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections.

Related: Senate bill would curb therapeutic antibiotic use in livestock

The Action Plan is organized around five goals for collaborative action by the government and involvement with foreign and domestic partners.

Under current FDA Guidance 213, many antibiotic/antimicrobial products used in animals will disappear from the market and/or come under requirements for a veterinarian to prescribe them by December 2016. Cattle eat a ration of feed on a farm Aug. 3, 2012, near Cuba, Ill. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The five goals include slowing the emergence of resistant bacteria; strengthening surveillance; advancing development of tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria; improving research on new antibiotics and therapies; and improving capacity for antibiotic resistance prevention.

Each goal includes several actionable items that the White House said it plans to meet by 2020.

Under current FDA Guidance 213, many antibiotic/antimicrobial products will disappear from the market and/or come under requirements for a veterinarian to prescribe them by December 2016.

Under the rules, which have been in evolution since first proposed in the spring of 2012, veterinarians, producers and those who distribute or use feed or water containing "medically important" antibiotics will be required to work more closely together to assure the products used are indeed the best treatment option. Also, the growth promotion uses of many products will be eliminated.

FDA in February said sponsors of all of the affected antimicrobials have committed to participating in the oversight strategy.

The National Pork Producers Council on Friday said it will continue its own research on antimicrobial disease and work on research to identify alternative products or practices that will help minimize the need to use antibiotics.

The pork industry's Pork Quality Assurance Plus program also provides producers with principles that govern responsible antibiotic use on the farm, and includes on-farm assessments to measure points on veterinary oversight and FDA requirements for medical records, NPPC said.

NPPC also helping make producers aware of the FDA policy on medically important antibiotics, it said.

"Pork producers have been at the forefront of developing programs that ensure that antibiotics are being used responsibly," said NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage. "And the U.S. pork industry is committed to doing its part to help address the issue of antibiotic resistance.

Related: White House Issues Federal Action to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

"That said, antibiotics are an important tool we use to keep our animals healthy and to produce safe food, and we will continue to employ them for those purposes."

NPPC noted that the White House plan backs the successful implementation of FDA's Guidance 213 and the VFD, the development of metrics to gauge the success of antibiotics stewardship efforts and research on alternative products and strategies to reduce the need for antibiotics. The plan also calls for the collection of more data on antibiotic use.

NPPC said federal data collection should "focus on increasing the epidemiological knowledge of antibiotic resistance, be practical and representative and not be cost prohibitive."

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