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ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has joined other groups in calling for Bayer Corporation to remove from the market its drug, Baytril, a ciprofloxacin-like antibiotic used in poultry. Infectious disease experts, like consumer groups, are concerned that use of the drug in agriculture may promote antibiotic resistance, making similar drugs less effective in treating bacterial diarrhea in humans.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed banning Baytril and other fluoroquinolones in poultry in October 2000. Abbott Laboratories, one of two U.S. manufacturers of these drugs, voluntarily complied with FDA's request, but Bayer appealed the FDA decision. Since then, FDA's review of the scientific evidence has shown that use of Baytril in poultry reduces the effectiveness of ciprofloxacin (Cipro) in treating Campylobacter, a common cause of food-borne illness. Earlier this month, an administrative law judge upheld FDA's proposed ban, but Bayer again appealed the decision to FDA.
IDSA has supported the reasonable and measured approach that FDA has used to address the complex issues involved in evaluating the scientific data. "Now, the evidence has been weighed, a decision reached, and the decision has been upheld by the administrative law judge. It is not reasonable or responsible for Bayer Corporation to continue to resist the decision, and particularly to continue to market their product during the appeals process," said Joseph R. Dalovisio, MD, president of IDSA.
"Bayer's action departs from the precedent of collaboration shown by FDA, the infectious disease community and the other pharmaceutical sponsor. IDSA has strong concerns about Bayer's action, and we ask that they immediately cease marketing of Baytril," he said.
The IDSA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a professional society representing 7,500 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases.