Annals of Internal Medicine
21 November 2017 Vol: 167, Issue 10
Ideas and Opinions
Proposed U.S. Funding Cuts Threaten Progress on Antimicrobial Resistance
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an escalating public health crisis that kills patients, threatens national security, and reduces the safety of medical procedures essential to save and enhance lives. Many types of complex medical care can be complicated by serious infections and rely on the availability of safe, effective antimicrobial drugs. In the past 2 years, national and global leaders have united against this threat, making tangible progress. However, budget cuts of a historic magnitude proposed by the Trump administration now threaten to undo this progress, placing patients in grave danger.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 2 million persons in the United States acquire antibiotic-resistant infections each year, resulting in at least 23 000 deaths. Antibiotic resistance is estimated to cost our health system more than $20 billion annually (1). Approximately 700 000 deaths are attributable to AMR each year globally. By 2050, a total of 350 million cumulative deaths will likely be attributable to AMR if current trends continue (2), and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis will account for most of these deaths (3).