Number of Antibacterial
New Drug Application Approvals By Year

The number of new antibiotics developed
and approved has steadily declined in the
past three decades, leaving fewer options
to treat resistant bacteria.
Each year, at least two million people in the US become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics—of those, at least 23,000 die, according a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In its first-ever snapshot of the burden and threats posed by antibiotic-resistant germs, the CDC identifies antimicrobial resistance as one of the country’s most serious health threats. The report states that the single most important action needed to reverse the trend is to improve antibiotic stewardship.

Up to 50% of all prescribed antibiotics are unnecessary or minimally effective, yet antibiotics remain the most commonly prescribed drug in human medicine, the report says. Loss of antibiotic efficacy puts vulnerable patients at greatest risk, including those undergoing chemotherapy, complex surgery, dialysis for end-stage renal disease, or organ and bone marrow transplants.

People with certain types of arthritis are also at increased risk.For optometrists, bacterial resistance to topically-applied ophthalmic antibiotics is miniscule in comparison to the large quantities of oral and IV antibiotics—but it’s still important that ophthalmic practitioners use antibiotics with a measure of caution, says Jimmy Bartlett, OD, ScD, chairman and CEO of Pharmakon Consulting.

“The availability of antibiotic steroid combinations makes the indiscriminate use of antibiotics tempting for many practitioners,”he says. “However, by and large, it is my opinion that our patients have greatly benefited from our primary care treatment of eye infections and inflammatory diseases, and only at the tertiary level does the looming bacterial resistance problem seem to pose a major concern

Download the full report here:

New Organization Seeks to Improve Optometric Practice
A new, independent, non-profit optometric organization—the American Association of Doctors of Optometry (AADO)—is being developed to “convey the exceptional clinical skills and abilities of doctors of optometry and the full scope of optometric practice to the public, regulators, third-party payers, the government, and others, and ensure recognition of those skills and abilities,” according to the group’s mission, stated on its website( Spearheaded by Craig Steinberg, OD, JD, the AADO aims to change the public perception of optometrists from “glasses and contact lens providers” to doctors that provide care and treatment of all eye problems. In addition, the organization seeks to promote access of optometrists to—and fair and equal treatment of optometrists by—third-party payer plans. The AADO aims to work with third-party payers to negotiate and enforce fair provider agreements for optometrists.