Senator Reintroduces Bill to Fight Spread of Superbugs

Legislation that would fund a national strategy to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs was reintroduced this week by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). The Strategies to Address Antibiotic Resistance Act would strengthen the federal response to antibiotic resistance through increased data collection and monitoring, prevention, control, and research initiatives.

The bill targets the misuse and overprescribing of antibiotics, which has led to resistant bacteria and a shortage of effective antibiotics.

Brown’s bill would:

  • Reauthorize the Interagency Antimicrobial Resistance Task Force and codify sections of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria to promote prevention and track antibiotic use and resistance
  • Implement CDC recommendations that would emphasize federal antimicrobial resistance surveillance, prevention, control, and research efforts
  • Authorize the use of grants to healthcare facilities to study the development and rollout of antimicrobial stewardship programs that would encourage appropriate antibiotic use
  • Allow the CDC to partner with state health departments to implement collaborations on prevention, and expand public health partnerships through the CDC’s Prevention Epi-Centers
  • Require annual implementation reports to Congress

The CDC estimates that antibiotic resistance costs the U.S. economy more than $20 billion per year in excess healthcare expenses, with additional costs to society for lost productivity as high as $35 billion per year.