In light of the policy mediocrity that is the Obama administration, it’s refreshing to read that the Obama administration is supporting the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). Of course, it’s early days yet, so it
would be par for the courseis quite possible that Obama’s support for this legislation will crumble.
I’ve discussed the bill in greater detail elsewhere, but here’s why this bill would greatly improve our antibiotic use policy:
- It covers all classes of antibiotics; there are no exempt classes of drugs.
- The definition of “non-therapeutic use” is very strict–it rules out prophylaxis (preventative use). Antibiotics can only be used to treat sick animals.
- Non-therapeutic use will be eliminated after two years for all drugs, unless manufacturers can show that non-therapeutic useful is not harmful. This is critical, particularly for off-patent drugs. Companies that make generics typically don’t have the profit margins to fight for non-therapeutic use. Since antibiotic resistance mechanisms are often genetically or biochemical linked, reducing the use of these generic drugs will remove a strong selection for more potent resistance genes.
This is a good bill. The Union of Concerned Scientists has a simple form that you can use to contact your elected officials. Now go support the bill