PCAST Releases New Report on Combating Antibiotic Resistance

Tony Flood & Brittany Mountjoy

“This is an important public health issue that requires the combined forces of both the human medical, veterinary, food industry and pharmaceutical industry to resolve – recognizing that it is clearly a one health issue that crosses multiple areas of interest”

Dr. David Acheson, President and CEO; The Acheson Group

On Thursday, September 18, The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a report to the President, Combating Antibiotic Resistance, which was released with a National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria via  Presidential Executive Order. All three documents address the current challenges and outlines a strategic approach to combat antibiotic resistance and the importance of optimizing the use of our current antibiotics in human healthcare and animal agriculture.

PCAST “is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who directly advise the President and the Executive Office of the President. PCAST makes policy recommendations in the many areas where understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key to strengthening our economy and forming policy that works for the American people.” The members of this group represent universities, associations, and private industry across diverse fields from engineering, biology, and IT. See current members here.

The report, Combating Antibiotic Resistance, focuses on reducing antibiotic resistance and lists key strategies to combat resistance.  Recommendations include:

  • Strong Federal Investment and Leadership
  • Systematic Surveillance and Response for Antibiotic Resistance
  • Fundamental Research for New Antibiotics
  • Clinical Trials with New Antibiotics
  • Commercial Development:  Increased Economic Incentives for Developing Urgently Needed Antibiotics
  • Improving Stewardship of Existing Antibiotics in Health Care
  • Advancing Stewardship in Animal Agriculture
  • International cooperation.

Additionally, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), along with several other organizations, support the report and the effort to combat antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics are precious medicines that have saved millions of lives by treating infections caused by bacteria.  Antibiotic resistance occurs when antibiotics become less effective, or ineffective, against harmful bacteria.  Animal and human health communities are working together to address this pressing issue. Current proactive initiatives such as Guidance #209 and #213, for the agriculture communities have been issued by the FDA to limit the use of medically important antibiotics in agriculture. Numerous stakeholder groups continue to support these efforts and have strategies in place to ensure the judicious use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, such as veterinary oversight.

Now that the ink is beginning to dry on the Executive Order, it’s time for us – all stakeholders across the food and public health sectors – to work together on antibiotic stewardship to combat antibiotic resistance. 

 

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