WASHINGTON, DC – Today, following a hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced plans to reintroduce bipartisan legislation aimed at combating antibiotic-resistant infections. Brown called for greater Federal attention to antimicrobials in order to advance our knowledge and resistance to microbial infections.

“Each year more than 23,000 Americans die from bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics,” Brown said. “Antibiotics and other antimicrobials have been a victim of their own success. We have used these drugs so widely and for so long that the microbes they are designed to kill have adapted to them, making the drugs less effective. We need a comprehensive strategy to address antimicrobial resistance. That is why I plan to re-introduce the Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance Act, which would revitalize effort to combat superbugs.”  

In 2007, Brown first introduced the Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance (STAAR) Act, bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the federal response to antimicrobial resistance by promoting prevention and control, tracking resistant bacteria, and supporting enhanced research efforts, as well as improving the development, use, and stewardship of antibiotics. It would also establish an Office of Antimicrobial Resistance (OAR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide greater leadership, coordination, and accountability between the entities involved in combating drug resistance.

Today’s hearing featured testimony from:

Panel I

  • Patrick Conway, MD, MSc , Chief Medical Officer and Director, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, and Acting Director, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Baltimore, MD
  • Beth Bell, MD, MPH , Director, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Panel II

  • Ciaran Staunton , The Rory Staunton Foundation, New York, NY
  • Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, FACP, FACMI , President, Clinical and Physician Services & Chief Medical Officer, HCA/Hospital Corporation of America, Nashville, TN
  • Joe Kiani , Founder, the Patient Safety Movement, Irvine, CA