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Preserving lifesaving antibiotics today and for the future
Date:11/17/2011

With antibiotic-resistant infections increasingly common, and a dangerous lack of new infection fighters in the drug development pipeline, it's more important than ever to use existing antibiotics appropriately. This week, infectious disease experts are helping to educate consumers, health care providers, and policymakers about when antibiotics can help, when misuse of these lifesaving drugs can do more harm than good, and the tremendous need for new antibiotics to protect patients.

IDSA is supporting "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week (http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/)," Nov. 14-20, organized each year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to educate people about the importance of using antibiotics wisely. Such efforts can limit the spread of antibiotic resistance and aid in preserving the power of these antibiotics for future generations.

"Antibiotics have transformed medicine since their discovery in the 1930s," said IDSA President Thomas G. Slama, MD, FIDSA. "But if we are not careful, we face a terrifying return to the time before these precious drugs were available, when many people died of common infections that are now treatable. We are already seeing infections that are resistant to every drug we have, and more patients are suffering, and in some cases, dying from these dangerous infections."

Promoting appropriate antibiotic use in hospitals and doctors' offices and educating patients and health care providers on the appropriate way to use antibioticsand when they may do more harm than goodare key parts of the multipronged approach needed to solve this public health crisis. Other critical elements include creating incentives and removing economic and regulatory barriers to spur antibiotic development, promoting the judicious use of antibiotics in agricultural settings, and strengthening public health measures (e.g., surveillance, data collection, immunization) and relate
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Contact: John Heys
jheys@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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