Antibiotic resistance continues to be a major source of mortality in the United States. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that at least 2 million individuals in the United States become ill from antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year and at least 23,000 die.1  

One of the most deadly culprits is Clostridium difficile, an infection usually related to antibiotic use — particularly in hospitals — that is responsible for an estimated 14,000 deaths annually.1

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Congress will now be addressing the problem of antibiotic resistance with a bill introduced to the US House of Representatives on March 30, 2017 by Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA).

Using the Orphan Drug tax credit as a model, the Reinvigorating Antibiotic and Diagnostic Innovation (READI) H.R. Bill 1840 provides tax incentives for pharmaceutical companies to invest in the development of novel antibiotics and rapid diagnostic tests for infections.

“New classes of antibiotics are critically important in providing additional options to ensure that effective treatment of patients with multidrug-resistant infections is available,” James M. Hughes, MD, FIDSA, professor of medicine and public health, and co-director, Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center in Atlanta, Georgia, told Infectious Disease Advisor

“Rapid diagnostic tests are essential to support antibiotic stewardship efforts to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use and help prolong the effectiveness of currently available drugs by ensuring their judicious use.”

This article originally appeared on Infectious Disease Advisor