Nearly 90 years ago, penicillin first demonstrated its dramatic effects in patient health outcomes (1), but there is now a serious and increasing problem of antibiotic resistance that affects all fields of medicine, including dermatology (2).
In fact, this problem is so serious that on September 18, 2014, President Obama signed an executive order where he referenced the growing rate of antibiotic-resistant bacteria as “a national security priority” and in response, summoned a Task Force to create and implement strategies to help curb rising resistance rates (3). In 2013, approximately 5.8 million prescriptions for oral antibiotics and 3.5 million prescriptions for topical antibiotics were dispensed by dermatologists for dermatology related issues (4). It’s time to create our own Task Force where all members of the dermatology community strive to achieve the same goal: save antibiotics and continue to commit to proper use.
Focused on addressing all potential sources of antibiotic resistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Get Smart About Antibiotics Week 2014 (November 17 – 23) is supporting responsible use of antibiotics in dermatology. Galderma Laboratories, L.P., our U.S. affiliate, is proud to help raise awareness and support the CDC’s mission of saving antibiotics by ensuring appropriate use when it comes to the treatment of acne.
As a world leader in dermatology, Galderma is committed to appropriate use of antibiotics. As a company, we have stood behind our commitment to dermatology patients’ safety by taking the necessary steps to cease the commercialization of topical antibiotics in acne through all of our national subsidiaries (5). Additional solution-oriented steps in the dermatology community have also taken place, including the publication of the 2013“Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Acne”, which recommends avoiding regimens that encourage the development of antibiotic resistance (6). But the momentum can’t stop here.
Acting as a united front, dermatology companies and dermatologists can help make a positive impact in reducing resistance rates and implementing sound treatment regimens that are still effective and safe for patients.
1. The Real Story Behind Penicillin. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/the-real-story-behind-the-worlds-first-antibiotic/. Accessed on October 28, 2014.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work. http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/antibiotic-resistance-faqs.html#acne-medication. Accessed on October 28, 2014.
3. Executive Order — Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. September 2014. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/18/executive-order-combating-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria. Accessed on October 28, 2014.
4. According to data from Symphony Health Solutions, Pharmaceutical Audit Suite, Prescription Monthly Audit, January 2013 – December 2013.
5. Data on File.
6. Eichenfield, L. et al. Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Acne. Pediatrics 2013;131;S163. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/Supplement_3/S163.full.pdf. Accessed on October 28, 2014.