FDA Enters Withdrawal: Agency Must Pursue Limits on Penicillins and Tetracyclines

Yesterday, a federal magistrate ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to move ahead with a decades-old effort to withdraw approvals for several uses of antibiotics considered “critically important” to human health by the World Health Organization.  This is a solid win for public health advocates and comes as FDA has proven unwilling to take seriously the threat of antibiotic resistance.

In 1977, FDA proposed withdrawing approvals for the use of penicillin antibiotics for growth promotion and the use of several tetracycline antibiotics in animal feed.  Research showed then—more than three decades ago—that these uses were likely to select for antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can infect humans.  Unfortunately, lobbyists for the pharmaceutical and animal agricultural industries persuaded Congress to delay the restrictions pending additional research.  FDA did more research but took no further action for the next 34 years. Read More >