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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Closing Remarks by Patrick McDermott, M.S., Ph.D., FDA

DR. McDERMOTT: Thanks David. And really thank you to everybody. I am really glad our international partners could come and show us some of the work that they are doing and really reemphasize the benefits the benefits of harmonizing the work we do and the pitfalls that come from lack of harmonization, certainly from definitions and methods down to our reporting tools. 

Thank you for all those who presented on the research. I think they made a good demonstration of how seriously we think research is to supplement a monitoring system where the data, you know, simply monitoring the data by themselves are often not quite enough. And we continue to try to work more collaboratively within NARMS and outside with other agencies. We put a lot of value on leveraging where we can because there is so much to be done to help unravel the complexities of antibiotic resistance.

Tom did a great job, I think, of going over the Science Board recommendations. We had very few of the recommendations that we did not endorse wholeheartedly. 

The sampling issue, we have gotten the conversation going again about how to make that better. 

The timeliness of the reporting, frankly we have been embarrassed by our reporting timeline in the past and I can’t tell you how some of the data handling systems at the FDA can be really byzantine and unnecessarily complicated and I think we have overcome some of those limitations this year.     I think the timeliness of our reporting should accelerate quite a bit to where we get almost to where we post the data as we test. Do the testing and then clean the data. That is our goal. Our goal is to have data uploaded in less than year-long increments.

So we have taken that very seriously and I think we have made some good strides that may not show fruit to the stakeholders for another few months now. 

As far as international work of the NARMS program which is the other Science Board recommendation, I think we are doing a very good job actually in that arena and help from all the NARMS partners in there. I am proud of our accomplishments there.

We heard a lot about drug use information. I still think that if it is collected properly and we are able to do it, it will make the value of the NARMS data even better. I know there are a lot of challenges in that, but it has been brought up quite a bit and when you argue about what led to the evolution of resistance, it is good to at least have data on the known selection pressures to sort of help understand that data.

So I appreciate sincerely all the comments. A lot of you really stuck it out to the very end. It was very busy days and I hope it will not be another six years before we do it this again. Thank you very much.

(Applause)

(Whereupon, meeting was adjourned at 4:33 p.m.)