DearColleague.us

Letter

Edward Markey

From the office of:

Edward Markey

From: The Honorable Louise McIntosh Slaughter
Sent By: clayton.cox@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 1150
Date: 11/21/2014
Dear Colleague,

Globally, infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria are larger public health problem than HIV/AIDS or even Ebola. Despite the scale of this crisis, these “superbugs” are too often ignored. This week, CBS Newspath distributed a story about the uptick in antibiotic-resistant infections and what we can do to stop them. The story has already aired in over 30 markets as of this morning.

Antibiotic resistant bacteria cause 2 million infections per year in the U.S., which result in 23,000 deaths and $20-35 billion in excess direct health care costs. The WHO has declared that antibiotic resistance is a “problem so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine” and “A post-antibiotic era—in which common infections and minor injuries can kill—far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century.” See my OpEd in The Hill this week for more information on the Threat of the Superbug.

To date, 39 city councils have passed resolutions to support my bill, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). The scientific community and over 450 organizations agree this legislation is the only serious solution to the epidemic of antibiotic resistance. PAMTA sets aside eight classes of antibiotics needed for human medicine as off-limits for routine farm use unless an animal is sick. Stopping the indiscriminate use of antibiotics on the farm – where 80% of the antibiotics in this country are used – is the best way to protect modern medicine and ensure that we do not pay even greater human and financial costs in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Please contact Clayton Cox (clayton.cox@mail.house.gov) in my office to cosponsor PAMTA or with any questions. In addition, your press office can contact your local CBS affiliate to ask that the news story run in your district. Contact Eric Walker (eric.walker@mail.house.gov) in my office with questions regarding the CBS story.

Sincerely,

Louise M. Slaughter

Member of Congress