The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday released its 2018 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals.

Though sales and distribution information is not indicative of antimicrobial use, the total amount of antimicrobials sold or distributed was up nine percent between 2017 and 2018.  A summary of the report is as follows:

  • Of the antimicrobials sold and distributed, 52% were medically-important and 48% were not medically important.  Ionophores represented the largest drug class of all antimicrobials sold and distributed representing almost 40% of the total volume.
  • Tetracyclines represent the largest volume of domestic sales and distribution of medically-important antimicrobials at 66% and sales and distribution was up 12% from 2017 through 2018.
  • When looking at the sales and distribution of medically-important antimicrobials by species, it is estimated that 42% was intended for use in cattle, 39% in swine, 11% in turkey, and 4% in chickens.
  • Of note, medically-important antimicrobials sold and distributed in 2018 was estimated at 221,774 kg for chickens – lower than any other species.  This is a decrease of approximately 17% from 2017 and a decrease of 56% from 2016.
  • For route of administration of medically-important antimicrobials sold and distributed, 64% was administered through feed and 28% was administered by water.

The full report can be read by clicking here.