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Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most significant problems in medicine. Many micro-organisms, including bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi. Increasing occurrences of AMR makes it more difficult to treat potentially life-threatening infections.

Antibiotics work by stopping the growth of or killing bacteria. When bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, the infections are more challenging to treat, and the risk of severe illness and death from infections increases. Antimicrobial resistance also increases the risk of spreading an infection to other people. When antibiotics lose their effectiveness, society’s ability to  treat infections and respond to public health threats is diminished.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 2.8 million antibiotic-resistance infections occur each year in the United States, killing more than 35,000 people. Older adults are particularly at risk from severe illness or death from a resistant microorganism due to changes in immune systems as people age. Additionally, many medical treatments utilized by older adults depend on the effective use of antibiotics, including cancer therapy and organ transplant, and the treatment of chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and asthma.

To combat the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance, the Alliance is actively engaged in promoting antibiotic stewardship on Capitol Hill and in federally-supported programs. Antibiotic stewardship programs help to preserve the effectiveness of current antibiotics by minimizing unnecessary utilization and measuring improper use. 

The Alliance is also supportive of efforts to incentivize companies to invest in the research and development of new antibiotics. Unfortunately, due to market failures in the healthcare system that make antibiotics unprofitable to produce, few companies currently invest in the research and development of new antibiotic agents. By working to ensure appropriate incentives for clinical development, the Alliance is supporting the development of next generation of antibiotics to ensure clinicians’ ability to fight infectious disease.