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Senator pushes further on antibiotic resistance threat Special

By Tim Sandle     May 1, 2014 in Health
Washington - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has expanded on his plan to combat antimicrobial resistance and call for greater federal attention to the increase in antibiotic-resistant infections.
As reported by Digital Journal, Sherrod Brown has proposed the Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance (STAAR) Act. This is legislation aimed at combating antimicrobial resistance. In presenting the Act, Brown called for greater Federal attention to the growth of antibiotic-resistant infections, which affect more than two million Americans each year. Emerging antimicrobial resistance and the growing shortage of effective antibiotic drugs is widely regarded as a crisis that jeopardizes patient safety and public health.
Sherrod Brown has told Digital Journal about the background to this week’s news conference. “Each year more than 23,000 Americans die from bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics. Antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs have been a victim of their own success. We have used these drugs so widely and for so long that the microbes they are designed to kill have adapted to them, making the drugs less effective. We need a comprehensive strategy to address antimicrobial resistance. That is why I am introducing the STAAR Act, which would revitalize efforts to combat super bugs.”
Brown has explained that his legislation would help strengthen the federal response to antimicrobial resistance by placing more of an emphasis on federal antimicrobial resistance surveillance, prevention and control, and research efforts.
Specifically, the STAAR Act would:
Promote prevention through public health partnerships at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health departments;
Track resistant bacteria by improving data collection and requiring reporting;
Improve the use of antibiotics by educating health care facilities on appropriate antibiotic use;
Enhance leadership and accountability in antibiotic resistance by reauthorizing a task force and coordinating agency efforts; and
Support research by directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to work with other agencies and experts to create a strategic plan to address the problem.
This is not Brown’s first attempt at seeking improvements to health in the U.S. In November 2013, the U.S. Congress passed the National Pediatric Research Network Act, which Brown introduced. Brown’s bipartisan legislation will create a more streamlined and efficient system for maximizing pediatric medical research, with an emphasis on rare pediatric diseases.
Brown's statement comes at the same time as a major report from the World Health Organization (WHO) about the global threat arising from antibiotic resistant bacteria. Pharmaceutical Microbiology provides a summary of the WHO report.
More about Antibiotics, Bacteria, Antimicrobial, Who, Senate
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