Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, has issued a spotlight report: Handle with Care: Preserving Antibiotics Now and Into the Future.
There’s nothing too surprising in it, which in a lot of ways is the point. Addressing antimicrobial use and resistance isn’t rocket science, it’s application of a lot of basic, common sense measures. While that makes it sound like it’s an easy fix, it actually makes solving the problem harder in a lot of ways. There’s no magic bullet, no fancy new toy and no game-changing drug that will make this issue go away. It’s a need for improvement in preventive medicine, better access to healthcare overall, limiting use of antibiotics in situations where we very clearly know we don’t need to use them (or use as much of them) and, above all, changing the behaviours of patients, pet owners, farmers and prescribers (both physicians and veterinarians).