Drug use regulations and legislation affecting your practice (Proceedings)
I. Critical Legislation in the U.S. House and Senate
The most critical bill related to the practice of veterinary medicine on the date these proceedings were prepared is HR 1549 - The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2009. The companion bill in the Senate is S 619
http://Thomas.gov/ is a government site for reading and tracking bills introduced in the U.S. Senate and House. By searching on the Bill Number you can find the available information on the text of the bill, related bills, all congressional actions and other information.H.R. 1549 SUMMARY AS OF 3/17/2009–Introduced.
Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2009 - Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to deny an application for a new animal drug that is a critical antimicrobial animal drug unless the applicant demonstrates that there is a reasonably certainty of no harm to human health due to the development of antimicrobial resistance attributable to the nontherapeutic use of the drug. Defines "critical antimicrobial animal drug" as a drug intended for use in food-producing animals that contains specified antibiotics or other drugs used in humans to treat or prevent disease or infection caused by microorganisms.
Requires the Secretary to withdraw approval of a nontherapeutic use of such drugs in food-producing animals two years after the date of enactment of this Act unless certain safety requirements are met. Directs specified congressional committees to hold hearings on the implementation of such a withdrawal of approval.
So where is this bill today (Summer, 2011)? The bill sponsor (Slaughter, D-NY) is no longer chair of the House Rules Committee, which was used (against the House rules) as the venue for a hearing on the bill. The Rules Committee is intended to address issues related to House rules (hence the name) and not hearings on the content of legislation. Now the bill would have to move through legitimate channels, where fair questioning and hearing of the bill would happen. Some version of this bill has been in circulation for quite a few years now, one of the originals with Brown when he was in the House and Kennedy and Snowe in the Senate.
The PEW Foundation has been an aggressive supporter of this bill. Their full report on industrial farm animal production and executive summary may be accessed at http://www.ncifap.org/. The AVMA response to the report may be accessed at http://www.avma.org/advocacy/PEWresponse/.