06.24.08

ENZI SAYS CONGRESS SHOULD SUPPORT EFFORTS TO COMBAT ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE, DEVELOP NEW ANTIBIOTICS

Washington, DC –U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member of theSenate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP Committee), today saidthat Congress must tackle a key weakness in America’s health care system – the growingthreat of antibiotic resistance and the failure to create new antibiotics to address thisemerging need. “We must meet the challenge that the growing threat of antibiotic resistance posesto our health care system,” Enzi said. “Congress must carefully consider how best tohelp doctors and researchers reduce levels of resistance and develop new antibiotics tofight infection and illness.” In a prepared statement for today’s HELP Committee hearing titled, “Emergenceof the Superbug: Antimicrobial Resistance in the U.S.,” Enzi said that Congress shouldconsider expanding programs, like the Orphan Drug Act, that provide incentives to createnew antibiotic treatments. “We simply are not creating antibiotics fast enough,” headded. Enzi said that in working to find the appropriate federal response to the threat ofantibiotic resistance, Congress should look at programs to help curb resistance byreducing the number of infections and educating patients about the risk of resistance.“We must be careful not to micro-manage doctors or tell them how to practicemedicine,” Enzi said. “However, we should promote programs – which can be as simpleas reminding hospital workers to wash their hands or encouraging patients to follow theirdoctors’ instructions on their prescriptions – that will combat antibiotic resistance.” ####

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