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Antibiotic Stewardship, Innovation Essential To Containing Antimicrobial Resistance

The Hill: Antibiotic resistance — the tab comes due
Amesh A. Adalja, infectious disease physician

“…There are a number of things we can do as a nation to help contain [antimicrobial resistance], which truly threatens the foundation of modern medicine. The solution starts with restoring basic trust in the doctor-patient relationship. Patients should stop demanding antibiotics for conditions that their health care provider says do not require an antibiotic. Physicians, despite time-constraints, should make every effort to explain why antibiotics aren’t warranted, and be confident in their decisions. Administrators must realize the importance of this effort and fully support it. Hospitals and health care facilities should encourage accurate and confident diagnoses to minimize the amount of antibiotics prescribed ‘just in case.’ … Coupled to these short-term solutions, new medications are desperately needed. … Supporting innovation will be essential. We must move beyond the overuse of antibiotics and spur innovation in products such as antibodies, novel vaccines, viruses that attack bacteria (bacteriophages), and those that harness the knowledge of the human microbiome. … [W]e must marshal 21st century resources to ensure that the progress that revolutionized the treatment of infectious disease is not squandered” (9/21).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.