Antibiotic resistance has gotten a lot of attention lately, and two recent stories have prominently featured the work of Extending the Cure and its parent organization, the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy.

Check out The Health Care Blog for a new post by Hellen Gelband (Extending the Cure, the Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership) and Ramanan Laxminarayan (Extending the Cure) on the resistance-producing gene, NDM-1.

NDM-1: Why Should the U.S. Care?

On Friday the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hosted a public meeting of TATFAR, or the Trans Atlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance.  I attended, interested to observe this stakeholder discussion of antibiotic resistance and policies to alleviate the problem.

On September 7th, Health Affairs published an Extending the Cure-sponsored study on policy options to combat antibiotic resistance. The study examines how the current health system is failing to limit antibiotic resistance and offers a radical policy solution to the problem: setting “effectiveness targets” for new drugs. These targets would encourage both development and responsible marketing of new antibiotics by tying goals for limiting resistance to financial incentives such as enhanced reimbursement or market exclusivity. Ramanan Laxminarayan, Directo

This summer’s media coverage of the NDM-1 gene brought “superbugs” back to the public’s attention. The discovery of NDM-1, which confers resistance to a range of antibiotics, drew comparisons with MRSA and inspired a bold piece by The Guardian on the prospect of a not-so-distant future without antibiotics.

On February 22, Extending the Cure published a study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine that found that two common conditions caused by hospital-acquired infections (HAIs)  killed 48,000 people and ramped up health care costs by $8.1 billion in 2006 alone. The study has recieved significant media attention.

Media Round-Up

 Over the past few weeks, the media has been buzzing about a new study finding that household disinfectants can “boost the resistance of some bacteria to life-saving antibiotics.” A small sample of the coverage is listed here:

Media Round-Up

Researchers from the University of Mexico found that applying a simple protein can prevent MRSA from switching from a harmless to virulent form, according to a UPI story this week.

A Slate article argues that we can win the battle against antibiotic resistance by adopting a new strategy:

Resistance in the News

Articles on the magnitude of the antibiotic resistance problem appeared in both Reuters and liveMint this week. According to the Reuters article, “Overuse of antibiotics in Europe is building widespread resistance and threatening to halt vital medical treatments….”