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GAO Report Calls for Federal Action to Better Respond to the Impact of Antibiotic Resistance

May 7, 2020

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has released a report titled, “Antibiotic Resistance: Additional Federal Actions Needed to Better Determine Magnitude and Reduce Impact”. The report was conducted at the request of of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and House Energy and Commerce Committees.

GAO was asked to review federal efforts related to (1) surveillance of antibiotic resistance, (2) the development and use of diagnostic testing to identify antibiotic resistance, (3) the development of treatments for resistant infections, and (4) appropriate antibiotic use.

The GAO report makes a number of recommendations, including that the CDC should develop a plan for timely reporting of antibiotic resistance in priority pathogens and that HHS should develop a strategic framework to incentivize development of new treatments for antibiotic-resistant infections. The report also noted that the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Task Force should address in its annual updates to the president ways to remedy barriers to fully implementing the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.