Preserving Antibiotics for the Future
Get Smart About Antibiotics: Thursday, November 17, 2011
- Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health threats.
- Antibiotics are the most important tool we have to combat life-threatening bacterial diseases, but antibiotics can have side effects.
- Antibiotic overuse increases the development of drug–resistant germs.
- Patients, healthcare providers, hospital administrators, and policy makers must work together to employ effective strategies for improving antibiotic use — ultimately improving medical care and saving lives.
No single strategy can solve the antibiotic resistance problem; a multi–pronged approach is required.
- No single strategy can solve the issue of antibiotic resistance; a multi‐pronged approach is required.
- We must educate everyone about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance and the appropriate use of antibiotics.
- We must eliminate all inappropriate use of antibiotics – in human medicine, animal medicine, and agriculture.
- We must prevent the emergence and transmission of resistant infections through research into new vaccines and diagnostics and by implementing other effective infection prevention and control initiatives.
- Improving antibiotic use takes time and resources, but is well worth the investment.
- The way we use antibiotics today or in one patient directly impacts how effective they will be tomorrow or in another patient; they are a shared resource.
- Antibiotic resistance is not just a problem for the person with the infection. Some resistant bacteria have the potential to spread to others — promoting antibiotic-resistant infections.
- Since it will be many years before new antibiotics are available to treat some resistant infections, we need to improve the use of antibiotics that are currently available.
- Antibiotic use is a healthcare-quality issue that impacts patient safety.
- Investments in appropriate antibiotic use will pay off, saving lives and money.
- Healthcare facilities must have support for antibiotic stewardship interventions and programs in order to manage antibiotic use.
- Ensuring the success of antibiotic stewardship programs is a collective effort.
- Resistant organisms will continue to develop, so it is important that we continue to pursue the development of new antibiotics while preserving the ones we have today.
- Developing new vaccines can decrease rates of antibiotic‐resistant infections. The first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was licensed in the U.S. for use in infants and children in 2000.
- By 2010, cases of resistant pneumococcal disease decreased by 66% in children younger than 5 years of age.
- PCV13, licensed in 2010, provides an opportunity to prevent even more antibiotic-resistant infections of pneumococcal disease.