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
As part of an ongoing collaboration to improve the stewardship of lifesaving antibiotics in the U.S., Pew and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with the American Hospital Association and Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, have developed a guide to help small and critical access hospitals reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance and improve patient care. Read More
A recent article I authored, together with several colleagues from The Pew Charitable Trusts’ antibiotic resistance project, systematically analyzes scientific evidence regarding the link between antibiotic use in animal agriculture and public health. Our review of the literature reaffirms what scientists have known for decades: Antibiotic use in animal agriculture, as in any setting,... Read More
The use of antibiotics in any setting contributes to the growing global threat of antibiotic resistance, so it is important to minimize the use of these drugs. This means eliminating unnecessary uses and finding other ways to prevent infections. In animal agriculture, alternative products play a crucial role in allowing farmers and veterinarians to reduce or largely phase out the use of... Read More