Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login


Antibiotic resistance: déjà vu

Déjà vu was the overwhelming reaction I had to the feature on strategies to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:517).

When I was an assistant secretary of the former Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB), responsible for the administrative arrangements of the practice committee and its four specialist subcommittees, I was also given the task of acting as secretary of the joint veterinary pharmaceutical committee. Membership comprised high-level representatives of the Society, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, British Veterinary Association and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. One major project was to prepare a submission to the joint committee on the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry and veterinary medicine.

This committee was established by the government in 1968 under the chairmanship of MM Swann, then vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh. What became known as the Swann Committee Report, published towards the end of 1969, was described as a landmark document and was hailed internationally as a leading work on the subject.

A major recommendation was that antibiotics used to treat infections in humans should not be used as additives in animal feeds to promote growth. I recall that there were strong commercial and, indeed, professional representations that such antibiotics should continue to be permitted in animal husbandry for prophylactic purposes.

Incidentally, the Swann Committee report also stated that antibiotics were being used unwisely by the medical profession.

Around 45 years later we appear still to be struggling to implement effective measures to ensure that the way antibiotics are being used for both humans and animals is not a major contributor to antimicrobial resistance.


John Ferguson

Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20067242

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice is a unique, practical guide for healthcare professionals or carers. Covers a range of non-medicinal products suitable for use at home.

    £22.00Buy now
  • Clinical Pharmacokinetics

    Clinical Pharmacokinetics

    A practical guide to the use of pharmacokinetic principles in clinical practice. Includes case studies with questions and answers.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Strategic Medicines Management

    Strategic Medicines Management

    A practical guide to influencing the availability of medicines, and policies of their use. Focuses on the strategic elements of medicines management.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Paediatric Drug Handling

    Paediatric Drug Handling

    Written for new pharmaceutical scientists, this book provides a background in paediatric pharmacy and a comprehensive introduction to children's medication.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics covers all aspects of drug use in renal failure. Shows the role of the pharmacist in patient care for chronic kidney disease.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.