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article imageObama's strategy to tackle antibiotic-resistant superbugs

By Tim Sandle     Sep 20, 2014 in Science
Washington - President Obama has launched a new national strategy to combat antibiotic resistance. The strategy seeks to find new types of diagnostic testing and to improve disease surveillance.
On September 18, President Obama signed an executive order and announced a National Strategy to combat antibiotic resistance. At the same time, the U.S. administration has offered a $20 million reward to the team who can develop a fast diagnostic test that could identify highly resistant microorganisms.
The National Strategy takes the form of a five-year plan. It includes goals like slowing the spread of drug-resistant bacteria; accelerating the development of new antibiotics, vaccines, and drugs; and enhancing the surveillance of antibiotic resistance. The strategy also seeks to prevent of inappropriate use of antibiotic by medics.
At the same time, the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) released an in-depth report outlining related policies.
Antimicrobial resistance is one of our most serious health threats. The situation is that some pathogens have become resistant to multiple types of antibiotics (antimicrobials used to treat bacterial infections).
Commenting on the announcements, Eric Lander, the cochair of PCAST spoke with CNN: "What’s new here is there is a highly federal focus that’s highly coordinated. We are endorsing a variety of specific goals in order to get our arms around this problem. If we’re producing antibiotics at a greater rate than we’re losing them, then we win in the long run."
However, not all campaign groups are happy. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) issued a statement, where it made the following point: "Just as the administration is taking steps to deal with abuse of antibiotics in humans, it must take steps to curb the overuse of antibiotics in animals, which consume about 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States. Shying away from taking these needed steps will not yield the ‘substantial changes’ that PCAST says are necessary."
More about President obama, Antibiotics, Superbugs, Hospitals
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