The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee this week held a hearing on the reauthorization of the Animal Drug User Fee Act, legislation that authorizes the Food and Drug Administration to collect fees for certain animal drug applications.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association, supporter of the legislation, says it allows pharmaceutical companies to pay a user fee to FDA, which is used to hire additional technical staff. By hiring additional technical staff, FDA is able to approve future animal health products without adding to the burden on taxpayers.
Additionally, the FDA says the legislation ensures that new animal drug products are safe and effective for animals as well as for the public with respect to animals intended for food consumption.
At the hearing, Dr. Mike Apley, DVM, a Kansas State instructor with a Ph.D. in pharmacology, testified to the importance of animal health product approval and use.
"ADUFA allows veterinarians and producers a greater array of current products," Apley says. "Uses of antibiotics in food animals are highly regulated, starting with specific indications on the label as approved by the FDA."
The ADUFA was originally passed in 2003 and was set to expire in 2008, but was reauthorized by the Animal Drug User Fee Amendments of 2008 and extended to 2013. The reauthorization of ADUFA will generate $98 million in user fees during FY09-FY13, the FDA says.
Check out Alan Newport's blog, Beefs and Beliefs for a deeper look at the ADUFA.