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News Scan for May 04, 2021

News Scan for May 04, 2021

Bipartisan group of lawmakers urges more funding for AMR response

A bipartisan group of congressional representatives called on House appropriators last week to increase funding for the federal response to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

In a letter signed by more than 60 lawmakers from both parties, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., said Congress must fully support the funding necessary to significantly reduce the burden of AMR. Among the requests was $672 million in Fiscal Year 2022 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, $100 million to expand AMR data collection through the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, and $600 million to improve AMR research capacity at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“Drug-resistant infections sicken at least 2.8 million and kill at least 35,000 people annually in the U.S.,” the lawmakers wrote to the House Appropriations Committee. “Globally, over 700,000 people die each year accounting for a cost as high as $1.2 trillion. If we do not act now, by 2050 antibiotic resistant infections will be the leading cause of death—surpassing cancer—and could cost the world $100 trillion.”

Citing the need for new antibiotics and the financial challenges of antibiotic development, the letter also requested $300 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and CARB-X (the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) to boost development of innovative antibacterial products, and $200 million for the Project BioShield Special Reserve Fund for broad-spectrum antimicrobials.

“The pipeline of new antibiotics in development is insufficient to meet patient needs,” Pingree and Carter wrote. “The imminent collapse of the antibiotic market is exacerbating this threat, and small companies that are responsible for nearly all current antibiotic innovation are facing bankruptcy because factors unique to antibiotics, including the need for judicious use, make it challenging for companies to earn a return on investments in antibiotic research and development.”
Apr 28 Congressional letter

H9N2 avian flu infects 1 more person in China

China reported one more H9N2 avian influenza infection, this time involving a 30-year-old woman from Guangdong province, marking the country’s 12th case of the year, according to an update from the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific regional office.

The woman had mild symptoms that began on Apr 20. The report didn’t say if she had contact with poultry or if illnesses were found in her contacts.

The H9N2 avian flu strain is known to circulate in poultry in China and other nations, and sporadic infections are reported in humans, especially those who have contact with poultry. Sustained transmission hasn’t been known to occur. Infections are usually mild, and many of the cases have been reported in children.
Apr 30 WHO Western Pacific regional office update

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