Plan of attack

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WASHINGTON – The White House released its National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (NAP), a five-year plan targeted at addressing the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The plan calls for “whole-of-government” approach to:

• 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; and

• Improve international collaboration and capacities.

In September 2014, President Barack Obama ordered the US government to create a national plan by early 2015. Obama's executive order resulted in the formation of a government task force and presidential advisory council to focus on the issue. Also, Obama asked Congress to nearly double funding to combat antibiotic resistance to $1.2 billion.

Signing on to the NAP were Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell; and Defense Secretary Ash Carter. In a statement, the agency heads said “Antibiotic resistance is a global problem that requires 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.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause 2 million illnesses and approximately 23,000 deaths each year in the US.
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