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The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) says it welcomes President Obama's FY 2016 Budget Proposal, nearly doubling federal funding for combating and preventing antibiotic resistance. There is no greater threat to modern medicine than losing the effectiveness of antibiotics.
"The request for funding shows the Administration's commitment to supporting and driving a national strategy on antimicrobial resistance that improves patient care and preserves our ability – as both doctors and patients – to fight infections," says Anthony Harris, MD, MS, president of the SHEA board of trustees. "As a society, we need to evaluate how we are using antibiotics. We are encouraged by the focus on preserving current antibiotics along with the development of new antibiotics. We hope the additional funding will help establish responsible antibiotic use, as well as a viable pipeline of new drugs for the future.”
The funding request includes more than $280 million allocated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support antibiotic stewardship, outbreak surveillance, antibiotic use and resistance monitoring, and research and development related to combating antibiotic resistance. These efforts are central to slowing antimicrobial resistance. SHEA is a vocal advocate for regulatory mechanisms requiring antimicrobial stewardship programs and furthering research on stewardship including rapid, point-of care diagnostic tests to avoid antibiotics when a viral etiology is identified. Appropriate funding is central to accomplishing these goals.
SHEA says healthcare facilities of all types should combine antimicrobial stewardship strategies with strong infection prevention measures as a complete multifaceted approach to prevent, detect, and control the emergence of antimicrobial resistant organisms around the world.