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‘Real Efforts’ To Stem Antibiotic Resistance Must Continue

Washington Post: How to save our miracle drugs
Editorial Board

“A major public health danger that languished for too long is at last getting more attention. Antibiotic resistance … Now there is a growing realization that these miracle drugs could lose their punch. … The pipeline of new antibiotics has been running dry for years, and that remains a problem. But a promising experiment is unfolding in the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, or CARB-X, which has announced funding for 11 teams to tackle research projects aimed at coming up with new antibiotics and diagnostics for the so-called Gram-negative bacteria that are the highest priority of the CDC and World Health Organization. … [I]f real efforts are made to restrain overuse for both humans and animals, improve surveillance and diagnostics, and discover new compounds, the great benefits of these miracle drugs may be preserved for future generations” (8/7).

Washington Post: Letter to the Editor: Keep pressing for change on antibiotics
Louise M. Slaughter (D-N.Y.)

“…As the only microbiologist in Congress, I have been sounding the alarm on [antibiotic resistance] for years, introducing the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act in the past six Congresses. This bill would save eight critical classes of antibiotics from being fed daily to healthy animals and reserve them only for sick humans and sick animals. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration and its toothless policies deserve some of the blame for the skyrocketing misuse of lifesaving antibiotics. It has been missing in action as this public health crisis escalated. Consumers have driven action on this issue by demanding antibiotic-free chicken from producers and restaurants alike. Companies such as McDonald’s and Costco, and institutions such as the University of Rochester have taken action. It’s a reminder that consumers’ demands can bring immediate and meaningful change” (8/11).

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