Today, the White House convened its first ever Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, bringing together more than 150 organizations committed to combatting the threat of antibiotic resistance. Pew was honored to participate in this event, which included leaders from the public health, health care, pharmaceutical, agriculture, and food retail sectors whose work focuses on human and animal health.
Throughout the day, participating organizations announced commitments to various efforts aimed at slowing the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, detecting resistant strains, preserving the efficacy of our existing antibiotics, and preventing the spread of resistant infections. To this end, Pew announced a new partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop concrete national goals for reducing inappropriate antibiotic use. These efforts, which will involve a broad coalition of stakeholders, are intended to complement President Obama’s Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) strategy and ensure that reductions in antibiotic use are achieved.
With approximately 2 million people acquiring serious antibiotic-resistant infections, and 23,000 dying as a result each year, it is vital that hospitals and doctors use antibiotics judiciously and preserve these life-saving treatments for patients truly in need. Pew’s partnership with the CDC is an important step in that direction.
However, antibiotic stewardship is only one part of the solution. Discovering and developing new antibiotics is essential to slowing the threat of antibiotic resistance. Unfortunately, too few antibiotics are in development today, and no new classes of antibiotics used in patients have been discovered since 1987. As a result, Pew has also committed to working with experts to identify the key scientific challenges that pose obstacles to antibiotic discovery efforts and develop a roadmap for overcoming them.
We appreciate the White House’s leadership on antibiotic resistance, and look forward to working with the CDC and other stakeholders on this critical public health issue.
Learn more about Pew’s antibiotic resistance project.