rm-pillsPenicillin and other antibiotic "wonder drugs" have save countless lives over the past 70 years. But widespread use is threatening the future effectiveness of these important medications, and there is nothing yet known that could take their place.

ramanan laxminarayanRamanan LaxminarayanAlthough it is doctors who prescribe antibiotics, efforts to reduce their use are better directed primarily toward patients, says Ramanan Laxminarayan, Director of the Center for Disease, Dynamics, Economics and Politics.

An even bigger challenge, Laxminarayansays, lies in curtailing the widespread use of these drugs on animals in our food supply.

  The CDDEP's newly unveiled online ResistanceMap be used to chart and compare both the use of classes of antibiotics on a state by state basis, as well as data on the increasing bacterial resistance to these same drugs. The Center will tailor their educational efforts to reduce unnecessary use of these medications based on the geographical consumption patters shown in the data.


The basic reason why widespread overuse of antibiotics is summaraice in this graphic, used courtesy of the University of California Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Evolution (http://evolution.berkeley.edu).

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