On Friday, the White House put out a detailed 63-page plan called the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria (NAP). The plan, that is reported to cost $1.2 billion, outlines the particulars of each stage of implementing the plan, as well as steps that will need to be taken in adopting the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s recommended policies. This is a five-year long plan that will be aimed at preventing such types of bacteria in humans and animals.
There are five main components to the plan that identify responsibilities that will need to be shared by both private and public sectors of the industry. The first step will be the gradual decrease of resistant bacteria with an emphasis on preventing the spread of resistant strains, through careful use of antibiotics in medical and agriculture environments. The second component of plan will be to improve national “One-Health” communication, so as to track these bacteria with better accuracy.
Third, NAP will attempt to forward the development and use of quick and innovative diagnostic field tests. This will enable health care specialists to differentiate between viral and bacterial strains, and to recommend treatment, accordingly. The forth stage will be to advance “basic and applied research development.” This will require restructuring the drug development process and increasing the number of potential drugs that are available for production.
The last component of this plan is to promote better international communication between agencies. This is also important for the monitoring of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It improves the capacity to track and observe, but also to react to outbreaks, through developing more efficient therapeutics and diagnosis. In the end, it may be stronger “regional networks and global partnerships that help prevent and control the emergence and spread of resistance.”
NAP has set the year 2020 as a goal for developing these stages, that the White House believes will curb the occurrences of bacteria like Enterobacteriaceae, that is carbapenem-resistan,t and Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile, that are methicillin-resistant. Alere Inc., one of the world’s leading companies in “rapid diagnostics,” is in complete support of the White House’s plan. Alere Global President, Avi Pelossof, has commented that the plan set forth by the White House is clear in defining its steps, which Pelossof contends is one of the most important elements when addressing a threat as important and as serious as this. He continued on to say that they are excited to continue to work closely with the Administration in developing new ways to quickly diagnose and treat these cases. Pelossof reiterates that misdiagnosis and improper treatment are what creates these resistant strains to begin with. He aims at eliminating such circumstances in the future.
The White House’s plan to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, released on Friday, has been welcomed by much of the public. The steps detailed throughout the 63-page report will require much cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as improved communication between the United States and many other nations abroad. There is little concern of lack of cooperation, as this is an issue that could potentially affect everyone.
By Joel Wickwire
Photo by ThatMakesThree – Flickr License
Photo by NIAID – Flickr License