Antimicrobial Resistance for Rosacea

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Proposes Plan to Address the Issue of Antimicrobial Resistance

In 2001, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services outlined a course of action, designed by an appointed task force that details a four-part plan to address the growing concerns of antimicrobial resistance. The plan a timeline of action indicates responsible government agencies and prioritizes areas of greatest concern.

The National Institutes of Health, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), along with 10 other government agencies and departments including the Health Care Financing Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Health Resources and Services Administration at Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Defense. The group which was organized in 1999 developed a targeted plan, which outlines and designates a coordinated response to deal the emerging threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Since the 1940s, the increasing availability and development of innovative new antibiotics research and manufacture has allowed for a tremendous reduction in bacterial infections and diseases that previously would have resulted in prolonged illness and even death. In a relatively short period of time, these bacteria and infectious diseases have shown an ability to mutate and evolve into stronger and more resilient forms in a survival of the fittest mode of evolution. As these bacteria mutate, we are pressed to discover and develop more precise and targeted antibiotic therapies to control them. The time, research and development of these newer, more powerful drugs are lagging behind the ability of the bacteria mutations. This has resulted in super bugs we are struggling to contain. The cost of research and development and the time needed to bring new drugs to market placed a significant burden on the pharmaceuticals. In 1992, the estimated cost of hospital-acquired infections such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was at least $1.3 billion per year.

The four part plan addresses the areas of surveillance, research, product development and prevention and control. These four components of action are further subdivided into 84 specific items, 13 of these are slated as priorities considered essential to addressing the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. The top priorities of each area of action include:

Surveillance will be enacted through a coordinated effort with the Centers for Disease Control along with individual state health agencies and other government agencies within task force to implement and design at local, state, regional and national levels antimicrobial resistance surveillance responsibilities to keep all agencies at all levels informed of methods to monitor and track patterns of antimicrobial drug use both in agriculture and in human medicine, as well as antibiotic use in consumer products.

Research will be enacted through a coordinated effort with the National Institutes of Health who will organize research within the state and local communities to provide the latest in new information and technologies, research on the genetic mutations for various microbes, to identify better and quicker methods of diagnosis, treatment and vaccines to limit the impending threat of resistant forms of pathogens and bacteria. The National Institutes of Health indicates their intent to promote more clinical studies to test and develop a new arsenal of antimicrobials and more innovative approaches to treating and preventing resistant pathogens and infections.

Product Development will be organized through the Dept. of Health and Human Services.  They will promote, identify and publicize the need for research and development of new and more powerful drugs to limit and prevent growing resistance to our current antimicrobials to treat resistant infections and mutated strains of bacteria through the creation of an Interagency Antimicrobial Product Development Working Group.

Finally in Prevention and control, the Dept. of Health and Human Services will enact a campaign to alert the public about the rusks and dangers of overuse, abuse and misuse of antimicrobial drugs and to improve responsible antibiotic use protocol within the health care systems and organizations.

A copy of the publication – A Public Health Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance is available online at CDC’s Antimicrobial Resistance Web site, http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/.