Sunday, March 04, 2007

FDA set to ignore advice of countless experts

The following article from the Washington Post describes the FDA's plans to approve the use of cefquinome, a broad-spectrum, powerful "last-resort"-type antibiotic, to help our poor cows recover from respiratory infections that are mainly caused by the poor living conditions imposed upon them by industry standards.

Never mind that there are several other antibiotics available and already on the market to treat these infections. Never mind that several panels of experts, including the American Medical Association and their own internal review panel, cried foul against cefquinome's approval.

Widespread use of cefquinome (yes, even in animals) will most certainly deal a potentially devastating blow to our ability to fight infections in humans. Decades of science, on top of recent evidence of advancing antibiotic resistance in pathogens, are behind the experts here. What's changing minds at the FDA? Well, they've gotta stand behind their new "guidance document"--the wording of which was apparently influenced by industry reps--which, according to the article, stays the FDA's hand unless they can show a direct impact of the drug on human mortality. Honestly.

Cefquinome is used in European livestock, and there appears to be some evidence that pathogens are developing resistance to this high power antibiotic:

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