Obama battles 'superbugs' with national plan

President Barack Obama announces a five-year plan to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Story highlights

  • Antibiotic resistance is a pressing public health issue, CDC says
  • Plan would nearly double the amount of federal monies allocated to the fight
  • Patient use of unnecessary antibiotics will be curtailed

(CNN)Two million illnesses. 23,000 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that's the human toll from antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" each year in the United States.

To fight the growing problem of infections that can't be treated, the administration of President Barack Obama is implementing a five-year national action plan at a cost of $1.2 billion. Those funds, part of the President's 2015 budget, which must still be approved by Congress, would nearly double the amount of federal money allocated to the fight.
The plan calls for creating a "one-health" approach to testing and reporting superbugs around the country, as well as establishing a DNA database of resistant bacteria.
    New, rapid tests to detect emerging resistant bacteria will be developed.
    Research for new antibiotics and vaccines will accelerate. The plan calls for two new options for people, and three for animals, by 2020.
    The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria