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Lifesaving antibiotics face doubtful future
Date:4/7/2011

[April 7, 2011, WASHINGTON] To head off a health care disaster, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has developed a plan to combat deadly antibiotic-resistant "super bugs" and is rolling out the multi-pronged plan today, on World Health Day 2011.

Infections are becoming increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics, while the number of new antibiotics being developed has plummeted. IDSA warns that unless sweeping actions are taken now, the future could resemble the days before these miracle drugs were developed. People will die of common infections and many medical interventions we take for granted surgery, chemotherapy, organ transplantation, and premature infant care will no longer be possible.

IDSA's new policy paper, "Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: Policy Recommendations to Save Lives," is being released at a press conference and published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The paper is available online.

"The way we've managed our antibiotics for the past 70 years has failed. Antibiotics are a precious resource, like energy, and we have a moral obligation to ensure they are available for future generations," said IDSA President James M. Hughes, MD, FIDSA. "IDSA has a comprehensive, multifaceted plan to address this crisis, but time is running out. If such measures are not implemented now by Congress, federal agencies and health care providers across the country an increasing number of lives will be devastated and lost."

The incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella, and others has skyrocketed over the past two decades. Each year, these infections kill nearly 100,000 U.S. hospital patients and are increasingly affecting healthy people as well. But while 16 new antibiotics were approved between 1983 and 1987, only two have been approved since 2008. The crisis is so dire, the World Health Organizat
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Contact: John Heys
jheys@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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