On June 2, the Obama Administration hosted the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship. The forum—which brought together key federal and private sector constituencies involved in the development, promotion and implementation of antibiotic stewardship activities—focused on developing strategies to combat antibiotic resistance by ensuring the responsible use of antibiotics nationwide.
Representing the dermatology market was Philip Brown, MD, JD, senior vice president of medical & regulatory affairs at Galderma. The company has been involved in antibiotic stewardship efforts for several years through its development of antibiotic-free products for acne treatment and involvement with the Get Smart program: a partnership between Galderma, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Acne & Rosacea Society, which focused on raising awareness of antibiotic stewardship in the dermatology community.
We spoke with Dr. Brown following the forum, where he highlighted Galderma’s ongoing commitment to develop effective, antibiotic-free treatment regimens—such as EpiDuo, Benzac and a new, investigational adapalene/benzoyl peroxide topical currently in the FDA pipeline—as well as its commitment to support education on the importance of antibiotic stewardship.
“Several years ago, we made a commitment to cease commercialization of topical antibiotics through all our subsidiaries globally, and we have been the pioneers of developing antibiotic-free retinoid with BPO combinations that offer a non-antibiotic alternative to individuals suffering from acne,” said Brown. “This is an incredibly complicated issue, and that’s really what the forum helped illustrate for me: the complexity and the multi-disciplinary aspect of this issue.”
He notes that dermatologists are in a unique position to lead in this area of antibiotic stewardship. “Antibiotics are highly utilized in the field of dermatology. It’s a discreet enough discipline that the communications, education and actions can be taken very readily due to the size of the specialty, and I look forward to being part of that process,” said Dr. Brown.
In 2014, President Obama signed an executive order launching federal efforts to combat the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Administration also issued its National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, which outlines steps the U.S. government will take to improve prevention, detection and control of resistant pathogens. Earlier this year, the White House released its National Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, a comprehensive effort that identifies critical actions to be taken by government over the next five years. They include cooperative efforts between the Departments of Health & Human Services (HHS), Defense (DoD), Agriculture (USDA) and Veterans Affairs (VA). Relevant to healthcare providers:
- Under the HHS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will work with the CDC to gather evidence to propose regulatory changes or other actions, as appropriate, that adhere to best practices, such as those identified by the CDC, to provide flexible and tailored implementation guidance for hospitals implementing antibiotic stewardship programs and further promote antimicrobial stewardship programs in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
- The CDC will continue to expand its National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) to help hospitals and other healthcare facilities track antibiotic use and resistance. The CDC will also expand its national education campaign so patients get the right medicine, at the right dose, at the right time.
- By the end of calendar year 2016, the DoD and VA will review their existing regulations and, as appropriate, propose new regulations and other actions requiring their hospitals and long-term care facilities to implement robust antibiotic stewardship programs.
- The DoD and VA will also take steps to encourage other health care facilities, such as ambulatory surgery centers and outpatient clinics, to adopt antibiotic stewardship programs. To this end, the VA will enhance and conduct follow-up evaluation of its Antimicrobial Stewardship Program already in place across the country.
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