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Antibiotics
Antibiotics are one of the greatest success stories in modern medicine.  Although we associate them with treating acute infections, these drugs underpin much of health care—from routine surgical procedures to organ transplants and cancer treatment.  Unfortunately, the history of antibiotics is a race between innovation and resistance. As innovative science furnishes novel drugs, bacterial evolution can quickly render them ineffective.

Pew addresses the growing public health challenge of multidrug-resistant infections by supporting policies that stimulate and encourage the development of antibiotics to treat life-threatening illnesses.  Pew also is working to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by phasing out the overuse and misuse of the drugs in food animal production.

Person at hospital window
Person at hospital window
Issue Brief

Efforts Fighting the Coronavirus Overusing Antibiotics?

Study shows more than half of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in U.S. received antibiotics in pandemic’s first six months

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Issue Brief

For years, leading public health and national security experts have sounded the alarm about the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The more antibiotics are used, the faster that bacteria evolve to resist them, giving rise to so-called “superbugs”—bacteria that are extremely difficult or impossible to treat with existing drugs.

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