Antibiotics are fundamental to modern medicine, essential for treating everything from routine skin infections to strep throat, and for protecting vulnerable patients receiving chemotherapy or being treated in intensive care units.
Although antibiotic resistance is not a new problem, its scope now constitutes a major threat to human health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 2 million Americans fall sick every year with antibiotic-resistant infections—and 23,000 die.
Medical and public health experts agree that addressing antibiotic resistance requires measures that will ensure both the prudent use of existing drugs and a robust pipeline of new drugs. Pew's antibiotic resistance project supports policies that would:
- Spur the creation of new antibiotics by removing the regulatory, economic, and scientific obstacles that impede antibiotic discovery and development.
- Establish stewardship programs to ensure that antibiotics are prescribed only when necessary in human health care settings.
- End the overuse of antibiotics in food animals.
The number and variety of antibiotics in development today are inadequate to meet current and anticipated patient needs. Over the past few months, the rapidly evolving threat posed by this innovation gap has garnered increased global attention, including an unprecedented United Nations meeting at which world leaders highlighted the urgent need to spur innovation of new types of antibiotics that... Read More
As part of an ongoing collaboration to improve stewardship of lifesaving antibiotics in the U.S., Pew and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a new resource to help hospitals reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance and improve patient care. Read More