- The latest edition of Florida TaxWatch’s Economic Commentary looks at the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and the economic impact of ARB infections. The report finds that the increased use of antibiotics has allowed bacteria to develop resistance to many commonly used antibiotics, rendering antibiotic therapy ineffective in the treatment of ARB infections.
The short life spans of bacteria means that they adapt quicker, often within a few years. Over-prescribing antibiotics, in addition to misuse, is the root cause of the problem. More than 2 million United States residents are infected by an ARB each year, 23,000 of whom die as a result.
The economic impact of ARB infections involves individual healthcare costs, total healthcare system costs and societal costs. The Florida TaxWatch report notes that an ARB infection developed during hospitalization added up to $29,069 in costs and up to 12.7 additional days of hospitalization per case. The cost to treat hospital acquired ARB infections may add an additional $20 billion annually to the United States healthcare bill. When considering the societal costs, ARB infections result in an annual loss of $35 billion attributable to lost productivity due to illness and death.
“The rise of ARB infections threatens our nation’s health and our economy. Luckily, policy makers, care providers and healthcare administrators are looking at options to prevent these infections at the source while funding more antibiotic research,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro.
The full report can be found here