FDA launches new website to boost antimicrobial stewardship

FDA launches new website to boost antimicrobial stewardship


The rise of antimicrobial resistance among pathogenic bacteria is a key challenge of the 21st century. The prolific use of antibiotics was one of medicine’s greatest success stories of the last 100 years. However, experts are now in agreement that we must be more intelligent with our application of antibiotics to reduce the risk of treatments becoming obsolete due to the development of treatment resistance.

To treat infections effectively, and prevent the development of resistance that can affect both the patient and broader society, it is necessary to test the susceptibility of an isolated bacteria to available antimicrobials. The interpretation of these tests requires the use of established ‘breakpoints’ – also known as ‘susceptibility test interpretative criteria’ – to determine if a treatment will be effective. However, the breakpoints associated with bacteria and fungi evolve.

In an effort to support intelligent antimicrobial use, the FDA launched a new website on 13 December that will allow healthcare providers to access the latest FDA-approved resistance data.

Previously, breakpoints needed to be approved and updated in the labelling information of each individual drug, creating a significant delay between data being generated and released.

The website forms part of an approach whereby updated breakpoints will be simultaneously approved across multiple drugs with the same active ingredient and updated on the database. Healthcare professionals will then be able to easily access the latest information when making treatment decisions, maximising the intelligent use of antibiotics.