Humans' evolutionary battle with microbes is, by nature, a losing one. Bacteria that are resistant to our antibiotics are spreading faster than our efforts to stop them. This has serious implications. Resistant infections can require longer hospital stays and more expensive drugs and, if drugs fail to combat them, they can kill us.
The Extending the Cure research team, based at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), believes that while we can't beat the bacteria, we can slow them down by recognizing that antibiotics are a natural resource and by rethinking how we combat resistance and the paths to solutions. CDDEP Director Ramanan Laxminarayan and his team advocate for a natural resource economics approach: a deliberate focus on incentive-based policy solutions that call for prescribing antibiotics judiciously, encouraging vaccination, controlling infection in hospitals, pursuing novel treatment strategies, and giving the government a central role in determining how antibiotics are allocated and used. "This project is an example of an approach to innovation we're very interested in," says Paul Tarini, RWJF Pioneer team director and senior program officer. "It's the application of knowledge from one field to problems in another field. Resources for the Future reframed antibiotic resistance, which many view as a medical or public health problem, as a problem of shared resources."
Amount Awarded $1,798,500.00
Awarded on: 4/23/2007
Time frame: 6/1/2007 - 12/31/2012
Grant Number: 61119