Drug-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, present a serious and worsening threat to human health. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, 2 million Americans acquire serious infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, and 23,000 of them die. Doctors routinely encounter patients with infections that do not respond to available treatment, and when new drugs come to market, bacteria quickly develop resistance. To ensure that the supply of new antibiotics keeps pace with these evolving pathogens, it is necessary to have a robust pipeline of new drugs and innovative pathways to get this medicine to the patients who need it the mostMore info
"An old saying goes, you don't miss your water till your well runs dry. When it comes to antibiotics, we're not only running out of water but there are no rain clouds on the horizon. The overuse and underdevelopment of these drugs have brought us close to the brink of a world without cures for deadly infections. Fortunately, regulators, lawmakers, businesses and health professionals are taking steps to walk us back from the edge.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently took action to curb the use of antibiotics to promote growth in food animals."
"Yet even if agricultural misuse of antibiotics ended tomorrow, our proverbial well would still run dry, just more slowly. The next challenge is for the world's best and brightest — in business, medicine, government, and academia — to replenish our medicine chests with the next generation of antibiotics."
"Bacteria are genetically nimble, but humans are smarter. Not only can we develop better ways to produce meat and poultry without abusing antibiotics, we can and must marshal our resources to develop new drugs that will keep humanity ahead of the next generations of life-threatening superbugs."
Rebecca W. Rimel is president and chief executive officer of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
- Date added:
- Jul 1, 2012
The process of creating new medicines is complex, time-consuming, and costly. Moving a potential therapy from concept to market can take between 10 and 15 years and cost developers as much as $1 billion. Indeed, industry also bears the cost of failure: For every drug that ultimately receives approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, some 5,000 to 10,000 compounds don’t make it through the process.More info
March is National Nutrition Month, a time to focus new energy on giving kids healthy food options throughout the school day. Students consume up to half of their daily calories in school, so access to wholesome meals and snacks is important to their overall health. In fact, research shows that students living in states with strong nutrition laws gain less weight than those in states without such policies.More info
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation held a hearing on Feb 16 entitled "Counterfeit Drugs: Fighting Illegal Supply Chains." Elizabeth Jungman, director of drug safety and innovation testified on counterfeit drugs the importance that newly passed Drug Quality and Security Act will have on the safety of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain.
The following case studies illustrate breaches to the pharmaceutical supply chain—the route a drug travels from its raw material origins to the delivery of a finished medicine. These examples, all of which are discussed in Pew Health Group’s report After Heparin: Protecting Consumers from the Risks of Substandard and Counterfeit Drugs, demonstrate the different ways in which contaminated, fake, or otherwise unsafe medicine can reach patients, and underscore the need for reform.More info
Jessica Donze Black, director for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, calls the modification change a “pragmatic and scientifically sound decision,” and San Francisco-based school food reformer Dana Woldow agrees: “[The calorie caps] will automatically limit the amount of potentially fatty protein and grains going into the meals. I think the days of seeing giant cheeseburgers the size of your head in school cafeterias may be over.”More info
Surveys of the animal production industry by the U.S. Department of Agriculture demonstrate that many farms and ranches administer antibiotics to healthy animals at low doses to offset overcrowding and poor sanitation and to accelerate livestock growth—practices that the medical and public health communities document as a significant factor in human antibiotic resistance. In 2013, FDA took steps to address these concerns.
It was food delivery day at Glen Landing Middle School in Blackwood, New Jersey, and the 42-year-old walk-in freezer went kaput. Again.More info
In the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama recognized the need to “stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria” and that developing therapies to fight these threats is an opportunity for American innovation and discovery. The threat of drug-resistant bacteria is real, and the need for antibiotic development clear.More info