State Legislation to Prevent Antibiotic Resistant Infections

November 30, 2017|3:44 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Each year, antibiotic resistant infections are responsible for approximately two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the United States. To prevent antibiotic resistance, CDC recommends four core actions: preventing infections from developing and spreading, tracking and collecting data on antibiotic resistant infections, improving antibiotic prescribing practices and stewardship, and developing new antibiotics and diagnostic tests. State health agencies play a key role in preventing antibiotic resistance by providing surveillance of antibiotic resistance in healthcare settings and in the community, promoting appropriate antibiotic prescribing and stewardship, and collaborating with other state agencies (e.g., state agriculture departments and state veterinary boards) to support appropriate antibiotic use in agriculture.

In 2017, ASTHO tracked state legislation aimed at preventing antibiotic resistance. In Maryland, the legislature addressed antibiotic stewardship in agriculture by enacting the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act, which prohibits the use of medically-important antimicrobials in livestock and poultry solely to promote weight gain or feed efficiency (HB 602/SB 422). In other states, bills related to the reporting of antibiotic use and resistance were introduced. For example, HB 2396 in Oregon would require certain livestock producers to file annual reports with the state health agency outlining the number of animals provided medically important antibiotics, the types and amount of antibiotics provided, the disease or infection being treated, and more. In Arkansas, a bill would have required (rather than voluntarily allowed) health facilities to submit quarterly reports of healthcare-associated infection rates and antibiotic stewardship activities to the state health agency (HB 1815). In addition, in Texas, a bill would have provided the state health agency with the authority to establish regional advisory committees to address and improve antimicrobial stewardship in long-term care facilities (HB 3711).

For more information on how state health agencies are working to address this issue, please visit ASTHO’s Antimicrobial Resistance page.