All antibiotics will be prescription-only in 2023

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The Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine’s plan to support veterinary antimicrobial stewardship will be fully implemented in 2023 when all remaining over-the-counter antibiotics transition to prescription-only status.

Medically important antibiotics (used by humans and animals) that are becoming prescription-only include injectable tylosin, injectable and intramammary penicillin, injectable and oral tetracycline, sulfadimethoxine and sulfamethazine, and cephapirin and cephapirin intramammary tubes benzathine. In addition, the over-the-counter status of the porcine antibiotics lincomycin and gentamicin is changing to prescription-only.

Vaccines, dewormers, injectable and oral nutritional supplements, ionophores, pro/prebiotics and non-antibiotic topical treatments will not require a veterinary prescription.

The Center for Veterinary Medicine assesses the safety of drugs used in food-producing animals, the impact of drug residues on human intestinal microflora, and the development of antimicrobial resistance in humans. Drug residues in the meat, milk, eggs and honey of treated animals expose bacteria to traces that do not kill them, but rather allow the development of antibiotic resistance. Veterinarians are responsible for slowing the rate of bacterial resistance by using antibiotics only when necessary to treat, control or prevent disease. This preserves the effectiveness of antibiotics for humans and animals.

Under the new rule, producers with a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) can purchase antibiotics directly from their veterinarian or from a distributor with the veterinarian’s prescription. Local distributors (eg farm supply stores) are evaluating their ability to handle prescription pharmaceuticals in the future.

The VCPR is the key that unlocks the medicine cabinet. Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 89 defines VCPR as the relationship between a licensed veterinarian, a client (who owns the animal), and the patient (the animal) in which all of the following apply to the veterinarian:

• Assumes responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the patient, and the client agrees to accept the judgments and follow the veterinarian’s instructions

• Has sufficient knowledge of the patient to initiate a general or preliminary diagnosis due to recent examination or medically appropriate and timely visits to the animal’s premises

• Is readily available for any follow-up treatment the patient may require, including adverse reactions to medications used or prescribed by the veterinarian. . Hire a veterinarian today to visit your farm to advise on treatment protocols and medication orders so you are ready to treat your animals quickly and efficiently.

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