Antibiotic Resistance

A 2013 CDC report announced that antibiotic resistant bacteria killed about 23,000 Americans annually (CDC). This sudden outbreak of antibiotic resistant bugs can be due to a number of factors. Firstly, due to a vast ignorance and over reliance on the drug we have reached a point where 4 0ut of  5 Americans are prescribed with an antibiotic annually (CBS), with about 1 billion dollars being spent on “unnecessary upper respiratory infection antibiotic prescriptions” (Get Smart). Every use of an antibiotic drug weakens the effectiveness of the antibiotic, as bacteria adapt with new defenses to the antibiotic. Antibiotics are also in much of the meat that we eat, as 15-17 million pounds of antibiotics are fed to livestock every year to allow them to gain more weight (Frontline). The final factor, and possibly the most important one, is most major pharmaceuticals have stopped making new antibiotics, as the quick one week effectiveness of antibiotics don’t exactly meld with the profit motive of big pharma (Herper). With the growing ineffectiveness of antibiotics, with no real solution in sight, major bacterial strains such as TB, strep throat, and gonorrhea can become rapidly spreading deadly diseases.


“Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the US.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., 2013. Web. 7 Sep. 2014.
“Antibiotic Debate Overview.” Frontline. WGBH educational foundation, 2014. Web. 11 Oct. 2014.
CBS/AP. “CDC: 4 out of 5 Americans prescribed antibiotics each year.” CBSNEWS. CBS Interactive Inc., 11 Apr. 2013. Web. 7 Sep. 2014.
Herper, Matthew. “How To Avert An Antibiotic Apocalypse.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 7 Sep. 2014.
“Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., 2011. Web. 7 Sep. 2014