Drug-Resistant Infections
Confronting an Escalating Crisis

Summary

The Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Forums
Drug-Resistant Infections: Confronting an Escalating Crisis
Presented jointly with NBC News Digital
Brief Video Highlight

Friday, October 11, 2019

Antibiotics are a pillar of modern medicine. They have saved millions of lives. But as the use of antibiotics has increased, so has the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant microbes that have adapted to survive most, or all, of today’s antibiotics. The CDC reports that two million people are infected with drug-resistant bacteria every year in the United States, and the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance estimated that, around the world, 700,000 people die of such infections annually. That number stands to increase: the Review predicts that, by 2050, drug resistance could be responsible for 10 million deaths a year. And while these numbers are dominated by bacterial infections, fungal infections like Candida auris are also a threat, especially to vulnerable patients in hospitals and nursing homes. 

Despite drug resistance growing, the development of new antibiotics has slowed. How can policymakers help accelerate the pace of new drug development, and how can all of us—doctors, hospitals, and patients, as well as the agricultural sector—be better stewards of existing drugs? Forum panelists examined the scope of this looming crisis and look at how changes in policy and practice can help us stay one step ahead of these superbugs.

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Presented jointly with NBC News Digital

Image Credit: iStock/Dr_Microbe