New campaign launched against antibiotic bacteria

The President is offering $20M to develop a test

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – President Obama signed an executive order to fight an antibiotic dangerous bacteria. The order includes a five-year plan focused on preventing outbreaks and developing new medications.

Antibiotics have saved countless lives, but using them too often could lead to a future of untreatable infections.

Professor Joshua Spooner of the Pharmacy Practice at WNEC told 22News, “It’s certainly a public health priority as more bugs become resistant to the medication it’s going to become more costly to treat things that lower level antibiotics could normally handle on their own.”

The President assigned a new task force to create a national action plan by February of 2015. The three-part plan will promote research, develop new drugs, and find ways to make current drugs last longer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overprescribing could make these drugs less effective in the future. Yet, over half of hospital patients leave with a prescription.

Sarah Cox of Springfield said, “I had a problem last year with bronchitis, and it took three visits before the doctor realized I should have an x-ray instead of every time I went I would get more medication.”

Obama’s offering a $20-million prize to develop a test for bacterial resistant infections; a price that may sound steep.

Corey Gendreau, a student at WNEC studying biomedical engineering, said, “How much money is going in, how much money is coming out, and how much medicine is actually being made. For most of it, yes it does help, it’s being put to good use, but there comes a time when enough is enough.”

The CDC said infections immune to treatment take 23-hundred lives a year; at a cost of $20-billion dollars a year.

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