Antibiotic Resistance

The lack of effective antibiotics is a global concern with the potential to affect all humans and domesticated animals. It threatens to undermine the effectiveness of modern health care. An ever-widening range of bacteria, causing a spectrum of diseases in humans and animals is becoming resistant to the most available antibiotics. Unchecked, escalating antibiotic resistance will lead to the global spread of untreatable infections and massive deterioration health and loss of life. It will also make most surgery impossible and end organ transplantation and cancer chemotherapy.

As a member of the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition, Public Citizen recognizes that antibiotic resistance threatens to undermine the effectiveness of modern medicine. More and more strains of bacteria are resistant to an ever-rising number of antibiotics, with no new antibiotics on the horizon to treat some of the most serious infections. The change is global and accelerating. Millions of people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year; hundreds of thousands lose their lives. The toll will increase.

A number of policies are contributing to the acceleration of the trend, including inadequate regulation and control of the sale and use of antibiotics in animals and humans, unrestrained marketing of the pharmaceutical industry, misuse of antibiotics in human medicine, industrial food animal production and more. The policy frameworks for research and development are further fueling resistance without advancing innovation – failing to ensure access to treatment for all people while allowing excessive and irrational use.