Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) say resistance to antibiotics is a public health problem, and the vast majority (81 percent) say they are concerned that antibiotic resistance will make more infections difficult or impossible to treat and even lethal according to national research public opinion conducted by the Research! America in collaboration with the Society of Contagious Diseases of America (IDSA). The research was partially supported by Pfizer Inc. Majorities across the political spectrum say that the federal government should increase funding for research and public health initiatives to address antibiotic resistance – specifically 81 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of independents.
"Americans realize that antibiotic-resistant" threats "are a threat to public health and support the pursuit of ongoing public and private sector research to address this increased health threat," said Mary Woolley, Research! "Americans call on" all hands on the deck "to face AMR, the government, the private sector, healthcare workers, hospitals and individuals."
Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents agree that the federal government should provide incentives to boost private sector investment in developing new antibiotics, reflecting consensus among 80 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents. Approximately 83 percent of respondents believe that pharmaceutical companies need to develop more antibiotics. The research has shown that 92 percent agree that doctors and other health professionals should only prescribe antibiotics when needed.
"Antibiotic resistance jeopardizes our ability to safely and effectively provide medical care to many patients, including organ and bone marrow transplants, joint replacement and other complicated operations, cancer chemotherapy, and early childhood care," said IDSA president Cynthia Sears, MD, FIDSA , He said. "Multiple approaches are needed – including management to protect antibiotic usefulness, encourage new antibiotics development and investment in research and public health initiatives – to reverse tide against antibiotic resistance. Health care providers should only prescribe antibiotics when needed, we know that high levels of inappropriate antibiotic use still appear, emphasizing the need for the federal government to take more action to encourage the implementation of education and antibiotic programs.
Research results show that more education is needed on appropriate antibiotic use. Antibiotics do not have any effect on viruses, such as flu or colds, and more than one third (37%) of those surveyed misunderstood that antibiotics are effective in the treatment of viral infections. Additionally, about one-third (29 percent) would be dissatisfied if his doctor did not prescribe an antibiotic for a viral infection of the child. Also, only 57 percent of respondents are aware that even one step of taking antibiotics when not appropriate can contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.
Other findings include:
– Only 61 percent of respondents say they are aware that antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread from person to person.
– More than three-fourths of respondents (76 percent) say they are aware that antibiotic-resistant infections make a medical procedure such as surgery, organ transplantation, and cancer treatment more dangerous.
– Only 21 percent of respondents say that at that time no action by the federal government on research and development of antibiotics is needed.
A geographic survey of 1,004 adult Americans was conducted by Zogby Analytics in October 2018. The error limit is +/- 3.1 percentage points. To view the survey, visit http://www.researchamerica.org/amrsurvey
Source: Research! America