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.
3 personal perspectives
Health experts create national targets to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions
Analysis shows more than 1 in 3 labels will not fully meet judicious use standards after implementation of FDA policy
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health, recently announced a new funding opportunity to support research into how resistance evolves in microbial communities, including how combinations of antibiotics could be used to improve treatment and slow the emergence of resistant infections. Read More
On May 4, The Pew Charitable Trusts sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, commenting on a draft of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPAI). The letter highlights the essential role that effective antibiotics play in responding to public health emergencies—including those resulting from... Read More
The emergence of alarming and unusual types of resistant bacteria around the world underscores the need for new antibiotics to treat patients with serious and life-threatening infections. Yet there are too few drugs in development to meet anticipated patient needs, and many major pharmaceutical companies have abandoned efforts to develop new antibiotics. Read More