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.
Analysis shows more than 1 in 3 labels will not fully meet judicious use standards after implementation of FDA policy
New data needed to improve prescribing, combat threat of antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance is a pressing global public health problem. This first report on trends in antibiotic use in the United States brings together diverse sources of information in both human health care and animal agriculture settings. It complements and informs efforts to set evidence-based goals aimed at reducing unnecessary antibiotic use. Lowering the use of these drugs will slow the... Read More
Like any medication, antibiotics carry certain risks. While they are critical to treating a wide range of conditions, from strep throat and urinary tract infections to bacterial pneumonia and sepsis, these drugs also increase a patient’s chances of developing Clostridium difficile infections—which can result in life-threatening diarrhea—and can lead to adverse drug events,... Read More
On March 13, The Pew Charitable Trusts submitted comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration per their request for information regarding the establishment of appropriate durations of use for medically important antimicrobial drugs in animal agriculture. Read More