What We're Reading: Antibiotic Misuse Fuels Rise of Drug-Resistant Superbugs

What we're reading, November 17, 2015: misunderstanding of antibiotics has fueled the rise of drug-resistant superbugs; healthcare leaders overwhelmingly support government intervention to curb rising cost of drugs; and the FDA wants more regulation on laboratory-developed tests.

Misuse of Antibiotics Fueling Rise of Drug-Resistant Superbugs

Confusion over the role antibiotics play and when to take them has fueled the rise of drug-resistant superbugs, according to the World Health Organization. The United Nations found that 64% of people believe that penicillin-based drugs and other antibiotics can treat colds and the flu, despite the fact that they have no impact on viruses, reported Reuters. This overuse can lead to resistance that exacerbates the development of drug-resistant bacteria.

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Healthcare CEOs Support Government Intervention in Rising Drug Costs

Consumers aren’t the only ones looking to government intervention to curb the rising cost of drug prices: 86% of healthcare leaders favor the federal government taking a bigger role, according to Modern Health’s CEO Power Panel survey. The respondents supported giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid. Nearly 60% of respondents rejected the claim from drugmakers and their supporters that higher prices are reflect research and development costs and the fact that most experimental drugs never make to the market, Modern Healthcare reported.

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FDA Calls for More Regulation on Laboratory-Developed Tests

The FDA is calling for more regulation on certain laboratory-developed tests, which may cause harm to patients by producing erroneous results, The Wall Street Journal reported. The FDA released a report on laboratory-developed tests ahead of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee evaluation for possible legislation limiting the FDA’s regulatory powers. The agency is contending that it needs to regulate these tests to ensure clinical accuracy, but officials in the industry worry FDA regulation stymies innovation.

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