Antibiotic Resistance – National Action Plan

On the heels of recent concern for carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, President Obama announced the National Action Plan to reduce antibiotic resistance by 2020. The plan hopes to accomplish this goal through the following means:

National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria 

The National Strategy provides detailed actions for five interrelated national goals to be achieved by 2020 in collaboration with partners in healthcare, public health, veterinary medicine, agriculture, and food safety, as well as in academic, Federal, and industrial research and development.  The goals are:

  1. Slow the emergence and prevent the spread of resistant bacteria.
  2. Strengthen National efforts to identify and report cases of antibiotic resistance.
  3. Advance the development and use of rapid diagnostic tests for the identification and characterization of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  4. Accelerate basic and applied research and development for new antibiotics as well as other therapeutics and vaccines.
  5. Improve international collaboration, capacities for antibiotic-resistance prevention, surveillance, control, and antibiotic research and development.

(Fact Sheet: Obama Administration Takes Actions to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. http://www.whitehouse.gov, accessed March, 2015)

Through an executive order, the plan calls for collaboration between physicians, hospitals, and the federal government to establish a task force for combating multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria, improve antibiotic stewardship, strengthen national surveillance efforts for resistant bacteria, promote the development of new and next-generation antibiotics and diagnostics, and strengthen international cooperation.  Interestingly, similar efforts have been adopted in India and China, with some degree of success. Finally, the administration hopes to launch of a $20 million prize for new, rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests.