Antibiotic resistance is a public health crisis that threatens the lives of millions of people around the world. Yet, according to a new report released today, the U.S. policy response fails to adequately address this major challenge. The commission report was authored by 12 antibiotic resistance experts from the fields of infectious disease medicine, veterinary medicine, microbiology, epidemiology and public health, including co-chair Dr. Lance Price, director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center, which is based at the George Washington University’s (GW) Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH).
[Photo: Dr. Lance Price]
The report, Combating Antibiotic Resistance: A Policy Roadmap to Reduce Use of Medically Important Antibiotics in Livestock, is the result of an eight-month collaboration by commission experts to craft a roadmap, consisting of 11 core policy recommendations, to help move the U.S. forward in addressing the contribution of livestock antibiotic use to the growing global threat of antibiotic resistance. The recommendations are aimed at a broad set of stakeholders: federal, state and local policymakers, food companies, institutional food purchasers (i.e. hospitals, schools and universities), and medical groups.
“Some positive policies have been implemented to curb inappropriate antibiotic use in U.S. food animal production, but they’ve been too slow and fall far short of what is needed” said co-chair Price, who also is a professor of environmental and occupational at the Milken Institute SPH. “Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest health threats of our time. It’s time for more concrete, comprehensive action from policymakers, food companies, large food buyers, and medical groups. We urgently need these policies to protect the public.”