Senators try to clear path for new antibiotics

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Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Bob Corker (R-TN) have introduced the Generating Antibiotic Initiatives Now (GAIN) Act to spur antibiotic development to fight the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

“Superbugs or mutant germs resistant to present antibiotics are a growing public health horror,” Blumenthal said. “The threat of these new resistant bacterial infections, particularly threatening to children, seniors, and our returning troops, requires innovative antibiotics. Incentives for research and development and fast-track FDA review are needed to stop these bacteria and infections from spreading.”

Blumenthal said that antibiotic resistance increasingly affects troops back from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom have been exposed to a highly resistant and contagious strain of Acinetobacter bacteria. Some 89% of infections from mutant strains of Acinetobacter are resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics and 15% resist all forms of treatment, he said.

The GAIN Act has been endorsed by 39 groups, including the National Military Vets Alliance, American Medical Association and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
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