Extending the Cure

Bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are spreading faster than our efforts to stop them.

Over five years, Extending the Cure (ETC), based at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), helped raise broad awareness about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance and offered comprehensive solutions to address the problem – from better infection control to the development of new, more powerful drugs.

ETC produced extensive research and commentary on the increase in drug resistant infections, so called “superbugs,” and the costs—both human and economic—posed by rising resistance rates. Its annually updated ResistanceMap reveals alarming trends in overuse of antibiotics, a key driver of antibiotic resistance.

This research has provided national, state and local health leaders with valuable information and tools to help better target their efforts to reduce inappropriate use, curb the spread of infections, and extend antibiotic effectiveness.

Contact

The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy

Washington, D.C.

Ramanan Laxminarayan, PhD, MPH
Project Director

Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation

Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation

A Pioneering Approach to a Public Health Problem

At RWJF, we believe today’s health care problems demand innovative solutions. Former grantee Extending the Cure (ETC) took a unique approach, looking at this public health problem through an economic lens. ETC proposed comprehensive, incentive-based solutions that both discourage unnecessary antibiotic use and encourage the development of new drug therapies, among other strategies,” says Brian C. Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation.

#Superbugs contribute to more deaths than AIDS, traffic accidents, or flu combined.

In 2012, Extending the Cure released a three-minute animated video that tells the story of how antibiotic-resistant “superbug” bacteria have become a serious public health threat that affects everyone. The video frames the problem uniquely: We must treat antibiotics as a natural resource that can be depleted with overuse, just like water, trees, and other resources on which we all depend.

The video lays out specific steps that everyone—including doctors, hospitals, and consumers—can take to tackle the problem.

In 2012, Extending the Cure released a three-minute animated video that tells the story of how antibiotic-resistant “superbug” bacteria have become a serious public health threat that affects everyone. The video frames the problem uniquely: We must treat antibiotics as a natural resource that can be depleted with overuse, just like water, trees, and other resources on which we all depend.

The video lays out specific steps that everyone – including doctors, hospitals, and consumers – can take to tackle the problem.

Published research and issue briefs from Extending the Cure

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Seasonality and Temporal Correlation Between Community Antibiotic Use and Resistance in the United States

This paper sheds new light on the role of patient-level factors, and in particular, cost considerations in the physicians' prescribing decisions.

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Drug-Resistant Bacteria Pose Deadly Threat to Hospitals and Nursing Homes

Drug-resistant bacteria known as CRE are appearing with greater frequency in hospitals and long-term care centers, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. Infections with CRE, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), strike the sickest patients, who are often in intensive care units and nursing homes, and can be fatal in 40 to 50 percent of cases. Researchers at Extending the Cure contributed to the CDC report.

· Read an op-ed about the report by ETC Director Ramanan Laxminarayan

· Read a guest blog post on KevinMD by ETC researcher Daniel J. Morgan about how hospitals are tackling CRE outbreaks

Read the Vital Signs report
Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria illustration

Increases in Drug-Resistant Pneumonia Present Major Infection Control Challenge

Rates of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumonia (CRKP) rose significantly from 1999 to 2010, according to a new report from Extending the Cure. Antibiotics used as a last resort to treat CRKP infections are losing their effectiveness. Resistance to cephalosporin antibiotics more than doubled during this time period, according to the report authors.

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Health Care Leaders Are Taking Action

Health Care Leaders Are Taking Action

Antibiotic overuse can be a driver of drug resistance, which can jeopardize lives. That’s why more than 20 national health organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, have joined with the CDC to issue a Joint Statement on a set of principles to address this serious public health threat.   

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Extending the Cure Matter of Life or Death

A Matter of Life and Death

Ramanan Laxminarayan, ETC project director, authored “A Matter of Life and Death,” a cover story in the Milken Institute Review last month that provides an economic analysis of the problem of antibiotic resistance. In the piece, he points to market incentives driving up resistance rates and proposes that solutions focus on conserving current and future antibiotics while simultaneously encouraging new drug development.

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Extending the Cure

"One-Size-Fits-All"? Optimizing Treatment Duration for Bacteria Infections

With attention focused on reducing overprescription, there has been little examination of whether drug resistance can be slowed by reducing the dosage and duration of antibiotic treatments. This study relies on ecological theory and mathematical models to predict the behavior of bacteria in different situations to develop a theory of when antibiotic treatments can be shortened, and a framework for continued study of treatment design.

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Extending the Cure

Communicating Trends in Resistance Using a Drug Resistance Index

Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness around the world as bacterial pathogens become resistant to some drugs. But by how much and over what time? To communicate the average effectiveness of the set of antibiotics used to treat a given bacterial infection, researchers set out to develop a drug resistance index that could be understood by non-practitioners, including policy-makers.

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what People are saying about Extending the Cure

The New York Times: “Challenge Is Doubly Great for the Developing World” 

The New York Times: "Infection with Klebsiella pneumoniae is a serious danger to older hospitalized patients"

The Atlantic Wire: “The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy offers a tool to track the growth of resistant bacteria over time.”

Infection Control Today: “Strains of Antibiotic-Resistant Staph Show Seasonal Preference for Infection.”

USA Today: "Southeast paying health price for high antibiotic use"

Reuters: "Antibiotics Overuse: Health Experts Seek Action To Curb Rise Of Drug-Resistant Superbugs"

Wired: "The Persistence of Resistance And Some Reasons Why"

The Boston Globe: "Antibiotic overuse making common urinary tract infections harder to treat"

 

Extending the Cure on Pioneering Ideas

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