World Health Organization warns against booming drug-resistant bacteria
A report released yesterday by the World Health Organization (WHO) heeds a dire warning that we will soon enter post-antibiotic-era—an age where a small cut or common cold could lead to hospitalization, and even death, surgery will be prohibitively dangerous, and the advances of modern medicine will be wiped out. The WHO’s report states that increasingly resistant bacteria—commonly referred to as “superbugs” —are developing and spreading around the world at a rapid pace, and even our ‘last resort antibiotic’ is now failing to treat infections.
“This report confirms our worst fears; we need to act and we need to do it now,” Green said. “Resistance can and must be slowed, but it cannot be stopped. We continue to see a growing number of cases of extreme drug-resistant infections caused by superbugs. Meanwhile, there has been an equally alarming decline in the research and development of new antibiotics to deal with the crisis. To combat this perfect storm, we need reinvigorate investments in the development of a new generation of antibiotics. This is already a matter of life and death will only get worse; we must take immediate and aggressive action.”
In response to this urgent public health crisis, Representatives Gene Green (D-TX) and Phil Gingrey (R-GA) introduced H.R. 3742, the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act to incentivize and accelerate the development of treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, enhance resistance monitoring, and ensure providers have up-to-date information so current and future antimicrobials are effective for as long as possible.
“Today’s WHO report only reinforces the need for Congress to act swiftly to combat the scourge of anti-bacterial resistant ‘superbugs,’” said Gingrey. “There has been improvement with the passage of the GAIN Act into law, but we must pass the ADAPT Act to provide more incentives for investment and innovation, and take the critical next step to fight these outbreaks. Rep. Green and I, along with our bipartisan coalition of supporters, will fight tirelessly to educate our colleagues on the need for further Congressional action to combat drug-resistant infections and give the medical community the necessary tools to fight them.”
Barbara Murray, MD, President of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) said, “The threat of antibiotic resistance is very real, very scary, and not exaggerated. The Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act would help reduce regulatory barriers to antibiotic research and development and speed access to lifesaving new antibiotics for patients with serious or life-threatening infections and unmet medical need.”