Journal Article

The Global Impact of Drug Resistance

David H. Howard, R. Douglas Scott, Randall Packard and DeAnn Jones

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 36, issue Supplement_1, pages S4-S10
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
The Global Impact of Drug Resistance

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Measuring the impact of drug resistance is an important step in understanding the scope of the problem and formulating policies to limit the emergence and spread of resistant organisms. Studies have focused on measuring the increased costs, morbidity, and mortality in patients with infections due to resistant versus susceptible organisms. These have generally found that resistance worsens outcomes. By focusing only on infected patients, however, they may understate the impact of resistance. It is important to recognize that resistance also affects the treatment of individuals with nonresistant organisms. In areas with high rates of resistance, physicians and governments have changed empiric therapy for malaria, tuberculosis, acute respiratory infections, and other diseases, increasing overall treatment costs. In some instances, these costs may exceed those attributable to treatment failure.

Journal Article.  5114 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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