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NRA foreshadows review of important animal antibiotic

NRA 01/3 29 May 2001

The National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals is to include the macrolide group of antibiotics used in livestock production in its chemical review program according to Manager of Chemical Review, Dr Ron Eichner. 

Dr Eichner said that the macrolide antibiotics are widely used in Australia's intensive livestock production to treat disease and especially to promote growth.

There are three main product groups that fall into the macrolide class.  They are based on the active constituents tylosin, kitasamycin and oleandomycin. 

'Australia already takes a very conservative approach to the use of antibiotics in livestock production.  This planned review is consistent with that safety first approach,' Dr Eichner said.  'The National Summit on Antibiotic Resistance being held in Sydney on 30 and 31 May 2001 provides an appropriate opportunity to foreshadow that we will be reviewing the performance of these important chemicals for potential problems in the area of development of antibiotic resistance' Dr Eichner said.

'The review is likely to formally commence in the second half of the year.  By foreshadowing the review now, we are giving all those involved with the supply and use of the chemicals ample time to thoroughly prepare their input to the review process,' Dr Eichner said  'This should ensure that the process is robust'. 

We will be writing to al the registrants of macrolide products as well as known interested stakeholders inviting their participation in the review,' Dr Eichner said.

The final details of the review of the macrolide antibiotics will be widely publicised with all interested parties able to contribute.

The NRA will draw on the specialist knowledge of a number of expert government agencies in conducting the review including the Expert Advisory Group on Antibiotics, which was recently appointed by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The review of the macrolide antibiotics comes as a direct response to recommendation 2 of the Commonwealth's Response to the Report of the Joint Expert Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (JETACAR).

The JETACAR identified this class of antibiotics as warranting review in terms of their possible contribution to the development of antibiotic resistance in medicine.

The National Summit on Antibiotic Resistance is a Commonwealth Government initiative intended to facilitate implementation of the national antibiotic resistance management program outlined in the Government's response to the JETACAR report.