Notice & Comment

How to Avoid a Post-Antibiotic World

Kevin Outterson and I have an op-ed in the New York Times today on combating antimicrobial resistance. Here’s a snippet:

[W]e will miss antibiotics when they’re gone. Minor scrapes and routine infections could become life threatening. Common surgeries would start looking like Russian roulette. Gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections might become untreatable. Diseases that our parents defeated — like tuberculosis — could come roaring back. The economic costs would be staggering: In September, the World Bank estimated that between 1.1 and 3.8 percent of the global economy will be lost by 2050 if we fail to act. …

A few federal agencies have shown [some] initiative. Medicare, for example, has moved to require hospitals and nursing homes to adopt plans to prevent the spread of drug-resistant infections and to assure the proper use of antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking steps to limit the spread of resistant infections and to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics. The Food and Drug Administration has simplified approval standards and has worked with industry to limit the use of antibiotics in livestock, which today accounts for three-quarters of antibiotic sales in the United States. And the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has been working creatively to build public-private partnerships to support the most promising research. …

But Congress needs to think bigger if it wants to fix the broken antibiotic business model.

Read the whole thing here!


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