FEATURED: Point of View
Oscar E. Guzman, PharmD, BCPS
Infectious Disease and Clinical Care
Innovative Delivery Solutions
The Nov. 6, 2014 New England Journal of Medicine article, Antibiotic Resisance – Problems, Progress and Prospects, by doctors Carl Nathan and Otto Cars, highlights one of the biggest challenges faced by modern healthcare today: how to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused, annually, by antibiotic-resistent bacteria in the United States alone.
The ‘golden age’ of antibiotics (from the 1930s to 1960s), when more than half of the drugs commonly used today were discovered, has long since come to an end. Clinical isolates of pathogenic bacterial species are becoming increasingly resistant to most antibiotics. And unfortunately, we have not kept pace with the development of new drugs to combat them.
The United States, many other countries and major world healthcare organizations have recognized this issue, and have formed partnerships aimed at improving awareness of antimicrobial misuse and the advancement of infection prevention efforts. Just this past September, the White House issued an executive order confirming a long-held belief of many clinicians…that “detecting, preventing, and controlling antibiotic resistance requires a strategic, coordinated, and sustained effort. It also depends on the engagement of governments, academia, industry, healthcare providers, the general public, and the agricultural community, as well as international partners.”