October 6, 2014 – Battling Bugs
Anchor lead: The federal government is now behind battling antibiotic resistant infections, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Antibiotic resistant organisms are big business, costing taxpayers millions in healthcare costs and accounting for many deaths annually. Now the federal government has stepped in to combat the problem. Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the new initiative.
Miller: President Obama has mandated that there will be a special task force established, by 2015 they’re going to come back with an action plan, how we’re going to slow the development of resistant bacteria, strengthen the national surveillance efforts, advance the development and use of innovative diagnostic tests, and improve international collaboration. Thrown in there is a $20 million prize for the development of a rapid point of care test to identify some of these superbugs that have become resistant. Ambitious, but noble. :31
Miller says consumers, too, must play their part by accepting that many infections are viral and therefore don’t require antibiotics. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.