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Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Antibiotic Resistance, Efforts To Prevent, Address Problem

The Guardian: The Guardian view on antibiotic resistance: walk softly, carry a big stick
Editorial Board

“The Longitude Prize is a very smart idea. The prize is a handsome £8m and it awaits the first individual or (more probably) team that develops a quick, cheap, and reliable way of stopping overuse or misuse of antibiotics. … A prize is smart economics to encourage smart science. It counters the lack of a strong market incentive to develop a diagnostic for which there is an overwhelming need — while reminding the rest of us to remember, next time we see the doctor, the urgency of the crisis. … The problem of antibiotic resistance is about science and economics, and it faces society itself, locally and globally, with hard questions, too. It pits individual benefit against the common good: your sore throat, our ability to survive a hospital stay. It demands recognition that a personal benefit may at a distance have a much greater cost. … [T]here is only one big way to meet the threat. Together” (5/22).

Forbes: The NIH Needs To Increase Efforts To Fight Drug-Resistant Bacteria
John LaMattina, senior partner at PureTech Ventures

“…While [the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) budget] shows the importance that the NIH and the U.S. puts on this area of research, the remit of the NIAID is very broad and includes funding programs in: AIDS, TB, Ebola, biodefense, MERS, etc. Amid all of these priorities, research into antimicrobial resistance seems to be getting squeezed out … It’s hard to argue against spending money on AIDS, Ebola, and the newly emerging Zika virus. But given the looming crisis with drug-resistant organisms, shouldn’t a greater emphasis be put on funding more work into understanding how bacteria are learning to evade current drugs? The NIH sets the agenda for research priorities in the U.S. By increasing, perhaps even doubling, the funds it allots to antimicrobial resistance, it could provide a big stimulus to the fight against the ‘antibiotic apocalypse.’ It is a step it needs to take” (5/20).

Huffington Post: The Worst Superbug? Tuberculosis
Aaron Oxley, executive director of RESULTS U.K.

“…The development of a new generation of drugs to which resistance has not developed is crucial. … [B]y providing a major reward for developing new drugs and treatment regimens, the [Review on Antimicrobial Resistance’s (AMR)] recommendations could transform how we treat TB. Equally important are the recommendations on ensuring that all people around the world can afford and access any new treatments, as this is truly a global problem and TB is most likely to affect poor and marginalized people no matter how rich a country they live in. If drug resistance continues to grow on its current trajectory, we could return to an era where treatment becomes practically impossible. The scale of the human and economic impact means we urgently need new tools to fight TB. We have to act, and we have to act now…” (5/20).

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