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  • Annals article highlights impact of Trump budget cuts on work to counter antimicrobial resistance

    09/05/2017

    As the Senate funding committee prepares to consider its health spending bill this week, an article in the Annals of Internal Medicine released today draws attention to the effects that  lawmakers decisions will have on efforts to counter the major and growing public health threat of antimicrobial resistance. The authors, infectious diseases physicians and program directors led by Dr. Helen Boucher of Tufts Medical Center, and including Infectious Diseases Society of America President Dr. William Powderly, as well as past IDSA president Dr. Barbara Murray, note that at least 23,000 of the 2 million people who acquire infections resistant to the medicines used to treat them each year, die as a result of treatment failure, and that worldwide the annual toll of antimicrobial resistance is many times higher. If current trends are not reversed, the authors note, by 2050 an estimated 350 million people will die as a result of antimicrobial resistance, while medical care across settings will be compromised by risks posed by untreatable infections.

    Fortunately, the authors note, with U.S. leadership, efforts are underway to protect the effectiveness of existing medicines, promote the development of new ones, and confront conditions fueling antimicrobial resistance. The authors point to critical initiatives to improve prevention, detection and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance, as well as to ensure a pipeline of new antimicrobial medicines. But, they point out, even as President Trump joined other G20 leaders in recognizing antimicrobial resistance as a threat public health and economic growth, efforts to combat the threat through drug research and development and public health programs led by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USAID’s global health program, are endangered by devastating cuts to funding for those initiative proposed by the administration for the coming fiscal year.

    The membership of IDSA joins the authors in urging Congress to reject these cuts, and to reaffirm U.S. leadership against antimicrobial resistance.

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