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Chapter 38 : Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics: Scientific Vision and Public Health Mission
Dovetailing with WHO’s longstanding Essential Medicines program, Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) emphasizes the need for dissemination of guidelines and resistance information, independent of commercial interests. The organization aims to improve current infectious disease treatment today while prolonging the effective life span of antibiotics for the children of tomorrow. In numerous analyses from rich and poor nations, APUA and its chapters have documented massive misuse of these powerful life saving agents and demonstrated that improving antibiotic use and curtailing antimicrobial resistance saves money without discernable adverse health outcomes. While APUA focuses on a single therapeutic modality, its work affects myriads of medical therapies and millions of people of all ages, economic strata, and nations. Drug resistance is a concept that is more difficult to explain and understand than the dangers of any single disease. Comprised of the world’s most knowledgeable scientific experts and former Institute of Medicine participants, an expert panel presented its bottom line, concluding that elimination of nontherapeutic use of antimicrobials in food animals and agriculture would lower the burden of antimicrobial resistance in the environment with consequent benefits to human and animal health. The recent creation of an NIH Drug Discovery and Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Resistance (DDR) Study Section signifies a new government commitment to investigation of new antimicrobial agents that could be deployed in bioterrorism and to study of evolution mechanisms, resistance transmission, and strategies for prevention of antimicrobial resistance.