Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded the announcement of a national strategy to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics. In unveiling the strategy, President Obama signed an executive order directing the federal government to work to prevent antibiotic resistance and preserve effective treatments.
The strategy was announced in conjunction with the release of a report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
“Antibiotics are modern medicine’s greatest achievement, but overuse threatens to limit how effective they are,” said Senator Feinstein. “We need a comprehensive plan to preserve their ability to fight disease. I join the president in recognizing the need to combat overuse of antibiotics within health care systems and the agriculture industry.”
Feinstein advocated for a number of recommendations in the report including strengthening data collection and surveillance and reducing the use of antibiotics in health care and agriculture.
Feinstein has urged the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture to increase data collection and surveillance. She also championed increased funding for the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System and secured amendments in the Senate’s FY 2015 appropriations bills that fund the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to require those agencies to implement antibiotic stewardship programs.
Feinstein’s bill, the Preventing Antibiotics Resistance Act, directs FDA to prohibit the use of human antibiotics in the feed and water of healthy farm animals if doing so would jeopardize human health.
Feinstein added: “The administration can’t address this challenge alone. Congress must provide adequate resources to implement these recommendations, and further action may be needed to ensure federal agencies have the authority to ensure antibiotics are used appropriately in all settings.”