Reducing cases of MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria cases is a priority within the next five years in this action plan.

Agencies Release Antibiotic Resistance Action Plan

The plan's goal is to achieve major reductions in MRSA and some other threatsby 2020.

By 2020, implementation of the Obama administration's new National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria will being about major reductions in the incidence of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Clostridium difficile, federal health officials including HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell predict. They believe the plan also will result in improved antibiotic stewardship in health care settings, prevent the spread of drug-resistant threats, eliminate the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion in food animals, and expand surveillance for drug-resistant bacteria in humans and animals.

"Other significant outcomes include creation of a regional public health laboratory network, establishment of a specimen repository and sequence database that can be accessed by industrial and academic researchers, development of new diagnostic tests through a national challenge, and development of two or more antibiotic drug candidates or non-traditional therapeutics for treatment of human disease. In addition, the effort to combat resistant bacteria will become an international priority for global health security," according to the plan's executive summary, which says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by drug-resistant bacteria in the United States annually.

Burwell, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Defense Secretary Ash Carter explained that the plan follows the president's September 2014 Executive Order 13676: Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, which outlined steps for implementing the National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, and that his proposed FY 2016 budget contains more than $1.2 billion for combating and preventing antibiotic resistance.

The plan sets these targets during the next five years:

  • Slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections
  • Strengthen national "One-Health" surveillance efforts
  • Advance development and use of rapid and innovative diagnostic tests
  • Accelerate basic and applied research and development
  • Improve international collaboration and capacities

They explained that this is a global problem requiring global solutions. "The United States will engage with foreign ministries and institutions to strengthen national and international capacities to detect, monitor, analyze, and report antibiotic resistance; provide resources and incentives to spur the development of therapeutics and diagnostics for use in humans and animals; and strengthen regional networks and global partnerships that help prevent and control the emergence and spread of resistance," they wrote.

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