Expanding Conditional Approvals in the Animal Drug User Fee Act Is Bad For Public Health

Media Contacts
Matt Wellington

Former Director, Public Health Campaigns, PIRG


Pharmaceutical companies that produce drugs for animals are proposing that the Food and Drug Administration expand conditional approvals in the upcoming re-authorization of the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA). That would allow drug companies to market antibiotics for use in food animals without proving that the drugs will work. U.S. PIRG delivered a letter signed by health professionals from across the country urging members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee not to expand conditional approvals when they consider the bill next week.

The overuse of antibiotics breeds drug-resistant “superbugs” and threatens medical professionals’ ability to treat infections and save lives. Despite that threat, approximately 70% of the medically-important antibiotics sold in the U.S. each year go to food animals, and the drugs are often used on animals that aren’t sick. 

“Expanding conditional approvals would encourage more antibiotic use in food production, which carries the risk of breeding more resistant bacteria, with no guarantee that the drug will be effective for the intended purpose,” said Matthew Wellington, Antibiotics Program Director, U.S. PIRG. 

“In order to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics, we should use less, not more, of these life-saving medicines,” said Wellington. “Congress should not expand conditional approvals of antibiotics for use in agriculture.”

For more information contact Matthew Wellington, [email protected] or 845-591-5646.