PEW Supports FDA’s Biomass Method for Monitoring Antibiotic Use

 

John Maday, Bovine Veterinarian

June 6, 2019

 

The PEW Charitable Trusts, long involved in public health and antibiotics policy, encourages the FDA to follow through with its plans to adopt a “biomass method” for measuring and analyzing antibiotic use in food animals.

 

The FDA proposed adoption of the biomass method in 2017. The animal biomass adjustment uses animal population estimates to provide context for antibiotic sales data, helping explain trends and fluctuations in antibiotic use by accounting for differences or changes in animal populations, such as animal life span, species and production class differences or management practices. The current process reports antibiotic sales, with estimates of use in major food-animal species, but lacks details needed to fully evaluate trends.

 

According to PEW, FDA has not taken any concrete action to finalize the proposal, even though its five-year plan identifies initiating a biomass method by 2021 as an immediate priority. In an issue statement this week, PEW addresses four concerns over the plan that emerged in public comments following the FDA’s 2017 proposal. The report includes PEW resolutions for addressing each issue, along with specific points on how the biomass method could provide more useful data in the battle against antibiotic resistance.

 

Issue 1: Antibiotic sales data provide imperfect insights on actual antibiotic use ...

 

Issue 2:  FDA’s proposed approach for calculating biomass is not sufficiently described, lacks transparency, and may slightly overestimate the size of the animal population ...

 

Issue 3: Inappropriate comparisons with biomass-adjusted sales estimates from other countries may lead to inappropriate conclusions about U.S. antibiotic use ...

 

Issue 4: Finalizing and using the biomass adjustment method will place undue scrutiny on antibiotic use in livestock ...

 

more, including link to full report from the PEW Charitable Trusts

https://www.bovinevetonline.com/article/pew-supports-fdas-biomass-method-monitoring-antibiotic-use