Monday, June 15, 2015

FDA Publishes Final Rule on Veterinary Feed Directive

On June 3, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the final rule for the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). The VFD places the use of antimicrobial drugs in or on the feed of food-producing animals (VFD drugs) under veterinary oversight. The rule is part of a broader effort on the part of the FDA to eliminate antimicrobial drug use in a productive capacity, such as promoting animal growth.

The final rule outlines the authorization process of VFD drug use and provides veterinarians with a national framework regarding the authorization of drug use for specific animal health purposes.  VFD drugs can be issued only in the context of a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR). The rule provides the key elements that constitute the relationship.

The final rule also requires that veterinarians follow the state-defined requirements for a VCPR. The FDA will defer to the state’s judgment regarding conduct standards for veterinarians so long as the state meets the federal VCPR. In the event that a state fails to meet the standard, the FDA will require veterinarians to adhere to the federal standard.

The FDA will begin enforcement of the VFD final rule in December of 2016 to allow adequate time for industry to adjust to the new regulations. The full text of the final rule can be found here. For the outline of the FDA’s “current thinking” on industry compliance for the final rule, see the draft guidance available here.

Written by Tyler R. Etter- Research Assistant
June 15, 2015

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