U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Dianne Feinstein, and Susan Collins today introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at combating antimicrobial drug resistance. The Antimicrobial Data Collection Act calls for increased data collection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), enhanced transparency and public awareness of antimicrobial drug use in agriculture and strengthened FDA accountability regarding unsafe antimicrobial drug use. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that, each year, antimicrobial resistance costs taxpayers $20 billion in excessive healthcare and results in more severe illness and a greater risk of death for infected patients. Currently, there are at least six multidrug resistant major human pathogens.
"Antimicrobial resistance is a public health concern that needs to be adequately addressed," said Senator Gillibrand. "Increased data collection, transparency, and accountability are part of a comprehensive solution that will help protect American citizens from drug resistant microbes, saving lives and tax dollars."
"Our bill would not create any new reporting requirements for drug companies, feed mills, or farmers. It would only require the FDA to provide more transparency in reporting the antimicrobial data which is already being reported to it," said Senator Collins.
Specifically, the legislation requires a pilot program to look into new data sources on antibiotics used on food producing animals. The FDA will create a comprehensive data collection strategy, based on the new data sources, in order to increase data availability to the public, increasing the FDA's transparency. The FDA's increased transparency would shed light on information about antimicrobial drugs used in agriculture that are not currently made public, such as dosage form, strength and targeted animals. The Government Accountability office will then audit the FDA to determine if the data collection for antimicrobial resistance programs is effective in protecting public health.