So, antibiotic resistance: We care about it, right? The World Health Organization does: It made antimicrobial resistance the theme of this year’s World Health Day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does. The journal Lancet Infectious Diseases says it’s a “global health concern.” The major association for infectious disease physicians has pleaded for attention. Two separate sets of legislators have introduced two bills in Congress.
You’d think, with all those calls for attention, that combating antibiotic resistance would be a priority in the United States. But if we can take how much we spend to research a problem as a gauge of how much we care about it, then antibiotic resistance is no priority at all.
As in: For every death from AIDS, the US federal research establishment awards approximately $69,000 in grant funds. And for every death from MRSA, it awards $570.