Currently, the agency does not collect data about veterinary drug usage. Even though the FDA requires reports of antibiotics sales, there is no dated collected to identify the specific animal species being treated with antibiotics, and how much they treated with (in regards to disease prevention, growth promotion, and therapeutic treatment). Many feel that, without this data, it is difficult for stakeholders to correctly assess whether the industry is actually reducing its usage of antibiotics in animals for food production. Both scientists and public health advocates agree having such data would help fight antibiotic resistance.
The letter suggests that the agency create a system for gathering and analyzing information to assess the effectiveness of new antibiotic policies. Senators offered to work with the FDA to provide additional authorities and/or resources, if needed. The letter also recognized the steps the agency is taking to address existing concerns, like revising labels and increasing oversight of antibiotics. However, they stressed the concern about continuing ambiguity in existing programs. Although there has been no official response to letter, we wait in earnest for the FDA’s view on these issues.