White House releases plan to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria

The White House released its anticipated five-year antibiotic resistance plan, “National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.” It addresses the administration’s efforts on antibiotic resistance as well as last year’s policy recommendations of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The plan reaches across a number of departments and agencies and includes $1.2 billion the administration proposed in its fiscal year ’16 budget. The NAP goals include:

  • Slowing the emergence of resistant bacteria and preventing the spread of resistant infections;
  • Strengthening national one-health surveillance efforts to combat resistance;
  • Advancing development and use of rapid and innovative diagnostic tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria;
  • Accelerating basic and applied research and development for new antibiotics, other therapeutics and vaccines; and
  • Improving international collaboration and capacities for antibiotic-resistance prevention, surveillance, control, and antibiotic research and development.

The plan also calls for eliminating the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion in food-producing animals and sets a goal to strengthen veterinary oversight when medically important antibiotics are administered to treat, control and prevent disease in these animals. The Food and Drug Administration announced these efforts last year in which all companies that have registered growth promotion products have agreed to phase them out. Hospitals will be required to implement programs to improve infection control and promote the judicious prescription of antibiotics to patients. The Department of Health and Human Services has announced it is accepting nominations to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. The Council will provide advice, information to HHS regarding programs and policies that support the NAP. Nominations are due April 29.

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