Why antimicrobial resistance is a threat we need to take seriously

Pharmacy Bottle With Red Pills

According to the CDC, more than 2.8 million antibiotic resistant infections Occurs every year in the United States, resulting in 35,000 deaths. Antimicrobial resistance, Or AMR, is a risk we should take seriously, he said Phyllis Arthur, Vice President of Infectious Diseases and Emerging Science Policy at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). We spoke with Arthur, who has been working in the biopharmaceutical industry for nearly three decades to fight infectious diseases, about what causes AMR, how it affects women’s health, and why it is exacerbated. Covid-19 The epidemic and how we can cope with it.

The transcript is lightly edited for clarity and length.

What is antimicrobial resistance?

Antibiotics have become one of the most important medical inventions of our time. They have enabled us to do the most complex modern medicine.

But over time, the use of antibiotics has changed the way bacteria are treated. Let’s put it this way: keep it Very much In general … bacteria are like a kind of roach. The first dose of bug spray can kill the whole bunch, but the survivors reproduce, and whatever they do to survive, they move on to their heredity.

This is called antimicrobial resistance, and it means that over time, the bacteria that are most susceptible to the new antibiotic in a day have developed enough to treat or avoid being affected by that antibiotic.

How does AMR affect women’s healthcare and daily life?

Women have a high number of medical interventions and therefore interact with the healthcare system as a part of their lives. Some of these experiences, unfortunately, make women more susceptible to what we call opportunistic bacterial infections. For example, you may get a urinary tract infection that may be caused by bacteria resistant to certain antibiotic treatments; You may have a C-section and unfortunately get a bacterial infection from a hospital while you are recovering; Or you’re gardening, nick your finger and get up Methycillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

An infection that can be easily treated with antibiotics first can be life-threatening due to AMR.

How has the Covid-19 epidemic affected AMR?

These types of public health emergencies often go hand in hand: you have a serious illness and a hospitalized virus, and then you may have opportunistic secondary infections that increase the use of antibiotics, so potentially resistant to normal health care faster than time.

A Recent studies The 148 hospitals in 17 states were found to have a 24% increase in multi-drug-resistant infections associated with an increase in Covid-19 cases between March and September 2020. This means more people in hospitals with crushed immune systems. Severe cases of covid then became very ill with a bacterial infection. The study estimated that one in eight hospitalized people had a second infection.

Another study found that 50% of covid patients who died had a bacterial infection with their covid infection.

Why do we need to deal with AMR immediately?

We need new antibiotics for bacteria to grow. Drug development is usually a seven- to 10-year practice, and we don’t already have the products we need Today To treat resistant infections – skip the future ones. We are already in a situation where physicians have few or no antibiotics that address some of the risk factors. We must now encourage and sustain innovative research and development Adequately addressing – and staying ahead – these serious and life-threatening infections.

We should also think of AMR as an epidemic and disaster preparedness problem that we cannot afford to solve.

How is AMR linked to epidemic and disaster preparedness?

You may have an epidemic virus such as Covid-19, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) or the flu, which can lead to hospitalized and secondary infections.

But we also tell you about all-danger incidents: storms, fires, mass shootings – incidents that hurt people and hospitalized for other reasons. These conditions, as well as any other incidents of community hospitalization, pose a significant risk of secondary infections, including resistant bacteria.

As a result, we think of antibiotics as a product that must be constantly updated for epidemic and outbreak recovery. These vital products are part of our ability to heal people, get them out of the hospital and keep them safe and healthy.

Why is it challenging to bring new antibiotics to market to deal with AMR?

The market for antibiotics is unique. Because we want to ensure that these products are not overused and increase immunity, new antibiotics (especially the ones you need in the hospital – which you will get through IV) are being put in place to treat the most dangerous infections. Reserved only for the treatment of the most ill patients. This means that when a company develops new antibiotics, they will have a very limited amount of sales – although those antibiotics are important to our healthcare system. As a result, some companies have gone bankrupt.

Some policies have been put forward to help develop developers of new and novel antibiotics, in essence, to separate the idea of ​​product revenue and quantity. How can we establish a market mechanism in which these companies can get some return on investment for making these products, instead of selling their unsuitable amount?

There is also a different problem: Newer antibiotics are sometimes not used by hospitals because there are barriers to adequate reimbursement of novel products. Current Medicare in-hospital payments discourage the use of new AMR drugs because hospitals will lose money – even if these drugs are medically appropriate. This impedes patient access and contributes to poor consumption of AMR drugs. One goal of addressing this part of the problem is to ensure that patients have no problem accessing new and new medicines when needed, and to ensure that healthcare providers can deliver the right medicine to the right patient at the right time.

What are some of the policies for dealing with AMR?

It is called a bipartisan bill PASTEUR Act – It stands for Pioneer Anti-Microbial Subscription to End-to-Surge Resistance – Introduced in both House and Senate. It proposes a government agreement mechanism that pays companies developing new antibiotics against the risks outlined by the CDC to ensure the availability of these drugs, thereby establishing a system that partially separates revenue from the amount of product used. The bill also includes stewardship components to ensure that we do not overuse new antibiotics.

The idea is not only for companies to create new products, but to some extent, for the market to fix the broken way it works for these types of innovative products.

Another piece of legislation is the development of an innovative strategy for antimicrobial resistant microorganisms.Disarm), Which will address reimbursement challenges for new antibiotics while requiring hospitals to monitor their use and report data to the CDC.

What can women as mothers and patients do to help prevent AMR?

One of the most important things we can all do when it comes to antibiotics is to know when to use the right product – and to be very careful about when not to. If you have a urinary tract infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics and, in some complicated cases, if the bacterial infection appears to be resistant to common antibiotics, they may recommend the use of a novel one. But if you or your family member has a viral infection, take antibiotics “just in case”. Similarly, if your child’s healthcare provider tells them they have a viral infection, ask your doctor for an antibiotic.

Even if you are feeling well, take antibiotics as prescribed. If treatment is stopped too soon, the remaining bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics. Do not skip doses, and do not take antibiotics prescribed for anyone else.

Finally, take action to support policies that ensure that we have more antibiotics in the near future. Talk to your legislator about why this is important, and if you or a family member has experienced a difficult transition to treatment, share your stories with legislators. We all have a role to play in preventing AMR.

This resource was created in collaboration with BIO.


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