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Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

CDC says antibiotic resistance from six pathogens costs US more than $4.6B annually

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According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Utah, the costs of antibiotic resistance among diseases are growing, leading to billions of dollars in health care costs and increasing rates of infections.

According to “National Estimates of Healthcare Costs Associated With Multidrug-Resistant Bacterial Infections Among Hospitalized Patients in the United States,” rates of infections are increasing in community settings, and infections in hospital settings are leading to high costs.

The highest costs occur in hospital-onset invasive infections, which caused anywhere from $30,998 for methicillin-resistant infections to $74,306 for carbapenem-resistant infections. The highest attributable costs for these community-onset invasive infections came from the latter as well, at an average of $62,396. All told, researchers put the treatment costs of these infections at an estimated $4.6 billion in 2017.

This, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), highlights the need for action and investments into antibiotic development, the infectious diseases workforce, and antimicrobial stewardship in health care settings. Prevention, research, and care are all stressed as ways to counteract the growing antimicrobial resistance.

While lauding the Biden administration’s efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, IDSA called on it this week to extend those effects to antibiotic resistance. It urged investments in surveillance, prevention, stewardship, and antibiotic research and development.