The post below is reproduced from CANresist.blog. It applies equally for veterinary medicine.
I think most people buy into the concept of fossil fuels being finite resources. Someday, they’ll run out or logistics and cost of extraction will make them impractical. Accordingly, we’re thinking about ways to reduce and improve use (to delay the end of the fossil fuel era) and develop effective alternatives. People know all about this, but motivation is somewhat limited by the fact that we’re not going to run out of oil in our lifetimes.
There are some good comparisons to antibiotics. Unlike other drugs, we have to consider them to be finite resources. There’s always some degree of “use them and lose them” because of antibiotic resistance. Like oil, we need to reduce and improve use to delay the end of the antibiotic era, and come up with alternatives. However, unlike oil, the time frame is potentially much shorter. Antibiotic resistance isn’t a threat for future generations. It’s a threat for every one of us.
Modern medicine needs antibiotics. The 50th anniversary of Dr. Christiaan Barnard’s first successful human heart transplant was a little over a week ago. Without effective antibiotics, transplants (and many other routine procedures) would be a thing of the past.
Putting things in that perspective should motivate us to put the required time, effort and money into antimicrobial stewardship. It’s not as flashy as a new Tesla, but it’s more important.