antibiotic resistance

A the end of every year there is a tally of the number of new drugs that were approved by the FDA during that year. This was recently covered quite thoroughly in a op-ed by Bernard Munos entitled The FDA Approvals of 2012: A Watershed? Munos points out that the number of approvals in 2013 (27) was down sharply from the 37 new drugs that were approved in 2012. While this may be an important number for the pharmaceutical industry, in terms of public health these numbers don t mean all that much.
Every now and then our government gets something right. This is one of those times. What is unfortunate is that it should have never come to this in the first place. Because 20 years ago our government got it really wrong, for which we are now paying a steep price.
A long-running controversy has reared its head again whether or not antibiotics should be added to animal feed to promote the growth of cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. This time, the FDA is considering whether to ban this practice, although they are only talking about voluntary compliance at this time. As would be expected, opinions vary widely, with farmers on one side and various medical and non-governmental organizations, and individuals on the other.
In today s you must be kidding news, the FDA, prodded by the Obama administration, told Congress that they were very concerned about the threat of bacteria that are immune to drugs.
We at ACSH have warned repeatedly about the nightmarish scenario that continues to unfold as more and more bacteria become resistant to previously-effective antibiotics, bringing us to the precipice of the pre-penicillin era where common infections such as strep throat and pneumonia were killers.
ACSH advisor Dr. David Shlaes, a world-renowned expert on antibiotics and the bacteria that are increasingly resistant to them, encourages all of us to watch Frontline tonight at 10 EST. They are covering a topic that you