US aims to cut antibiotic use

Various pills. Credit: Wikipedia

US President Barack Obama on Friday rolled out plans to cut inappropriate antibiotic use by half, in an effort to tackle drug resistance.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, , also known as "superbugs," kill 23,000 people a year in the United States.

"Antibiotic resistance is one of the most pressing public health issues facing the world today," Obama told Internet health portal WebMD.

To reduce the toll, the new plan aims to cut inappropriate antibiotic use by 50 percent for outpatients, and 20 percent for inpatients.

Measures include developing diagnostic tests to determine whether an infection is bacterial or viral.

"Over-prescribing is a serious problem," Obama said. "We need to give doctors the information and guidance they need to make the right call in hard situations."

The plan would also encourage the development of new antibiotics.

But critics say measures fail to tackle one major source of antibiotic over use: farming.

"The Obama Administration needs to do more to reduce antibiotic use in animals that are not sick," the Natural Resources Defense Council said.

"Our government should be taking steps to reduce antibiotics to protect our health, rather than protecting poor industry practices."

The plan may also hit funding problems. Obama needs Republicans in Congress to back a budget that pays for the measures.

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© 2015 AFP

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Mar 30, 2015
Start by limiting agricultural overuse. Greedy bankers create conditions that force farmers to use hormones to artificially stimulate excessive milk production per cow. This makes for unhealthy, driven literally to the wall SICKLY cows. To maintain this 'edge at the expense of his herd's health and contrary to good sense, farmers feed antibiotics by the tonne to their herds. This antibiotic load in immunocompromised animals is a natural breeding ground for resistant germs. One way to fight this is to boycott all milk from BST growth hormone dosed herds, where possible. Another is to pass laws over the objection of the milk industry mandating the disclosure of BST use in animals whose milk or any other product is used for human consumption. Also laws against telling the public that this is in use...secrecy laws...must be repealed and the authors of the original Genetically Modified Food Secrecy laws put up on trial and sentenced to life without parole.

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