Recently a Brookings Institution article http://www.brookings.edu * noted: “While antibiotics are necessary and crucial for treating bacterial infections, their misuse over time has contributed to a rather alarming rate of antibiotic resistance, including the development of multidrug-resistance bacteria or “super bugs.” Misuse manifests throughout all corners of public and private life; from the doctor’s office when prescribed to treat viruses; to industrial agriculture, where they are used in abundance to prevent disease in livestock. “
“As drug resistance increases, we will see a number of dangerous and far-reaching consequences. First, common infections like STDs, pneumonia, and “staph” infections will become increasingly difficult to treat, and in extreme cases these infections may require hospitalization or treatment with expensive and toxic second-line therapies…. Health care providers are increasingly encountering highly resistant infections not only in hospitals – where such infections can easily spread between vulnerable patients – but also in outpatient care settings.”
“Fundamental Approaches to Slowing Resistance
• Incentivize appropriate use of antibiotics.
• Reinvigorate the drug development pipeline with novel antibiotics.
• Advance new economic incentives to remedy market failure.
• Improve tracking and monitoring of resistance in the outpatient setting.
* to read the full Brookings article “The Path of Least [Antibiotic] Resistance” by Gregory W. Daniel, Derek Griffing and Sophie Mayer, highlight and click on open hyperlink
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Jonathan M. Metsch, Dr.P.H., is Clinical Professor, Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Adjunct Professor, Baruch College ( C.U.N.Y.), Rutgers School of Public Health, and Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.
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