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Preserving the Power of Antibiotics for the Future

Infectious Diseases Experts Support "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week," Nov. 15-21

Nov. 19, 2010 - Arlington, Va. - With antibiotic-resistant infections on the rise, it's more important than ever to preserve the lifesaving power of antibiotics. That's why infectious disease experts are helping educate consumers, health care providers, and policymakers this week about when antibiotics can help, how misuse can hurt, and the great need for new antibiotics to protect patients.

"Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to public health in the world," said James Hughes, MD, FIDSA, president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). "Increasing resistance hampers the effectiveness of the antibiotics we have, and there are not enough new antibiotics in the development pipeline to ensure we will have the most important tools we need to fight serious and life-threatening bacterial infections. We are already seeing infections resistant to nearly every drug in our arsenal. The recent identification of multiply-resistant NDM-1 strains in several countries is another reminder of the global nature of this threat."

IDSA is supporting "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week," Nov. 15-21, organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to raise awareness about reducing inappropriate antibiotic use, which can help limit the spread of antibiotic resistance, and to underscore the need to address antibiotic resistance in a comprehensive way before it's too late.

No single strategy can solve this public health crisis. A multipronged approach is needed: emphasizing appropriate antibiotic prescribing in hospitals and doctors' offices, educating patients and health care providers on appropriate antibiotic use, stopping the non-judicious use of antibiotics in animals on the farm, using vaccines when they are available, passing appropriate legislation, and promoting the research and development of new antibiotics to fix the broken pipeline, among other strategies. In March 2010, as part of IDSA's continuing effort to address antibiotic resistance and the dwindling pipeline, the Society launched the 10 x '20 initiative, calling for a global commitment to develop 10 new antibiotics by 2020. For more information about the Society's efforts, please visit IDSA's website:

"All of us-physicians, veterinarians, public health officials, pharmacists, patients, industry leaders, government officials, and policymakers-must work together to address this problem and ensure that this precious resource is available to future generations," Dr. Hughes said. "From appropriately using the antibiotics we have today to promoting the development of new ones, we all have important parts to play in overcoming this serious public health threat."

More information about CDC's "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week" is available online: 



The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is an organization of physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals dedicated to promoting health through excellence in infectious diseases research, education, patient care, prevention and public health. IDSA President James Hughes, MD, FIDSA, is a professor of medicine and public health at Emory University in Atlanta. He recently took office during the 48th Annual Meeting of IDSA. The Society, which has more than 9,000 members, was founded in 1963 and is based in Arlington, Va. For more information, see .



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