ATLANTA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are getting out the word about antibiotic resistance as part of “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.” President Obama proclaimed the occasion to continue momentum generated by the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship held in June.
More than 150 major food companies, retailers and stakeholders in the human and animal health industries pledged to implement changes over the next five years to slow the spread of antibiotic resistance.
“Antibiotic resistance is one of the deadliest health threats facing the world,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “These pledges will help protect the antibiotics we have so we can use these miracle drugs to save lives for years to come.”
During the week of Nov. 16-22, public health agencies, non-profit organizations, industry partners and others are giving resources and making commitments to reduce antibiotic resistance. For example:
• The Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) has joined CDC in tracking prescriptions of antibiotics in HCA facilities on a monthly basis. Data can be analyzed and reviewed with caregivers to guide patient care decisions.
• Wal-Mart Stores Inc. developed a public service announcement on appropriate antibiotic use. The educational videos for checkout lines give information about antibiotic resistance and what consumers can do to improve antibiotic use.
• The CDC is tracking antibiotic use and the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States. The agency also is investigating new ways to stop the rise of antibiotic resistance.
“All of us can take action,” Lauri Hicks, DO, director of CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship. “The way we use antibiotics today impacts how useful they will be tomorrow. We all have a responsibility to be vigilant: consumers, parents, healthcare providers, hospitals, governments. We are especially pleased that many organizations and companies are joining the ranks to promote public awareness.”