Nov 13, 2013 • 25M

Hospital-Acquired Infections Contribute to 100,000 Deaths Per Year, What's Being Done to More Effectively Treat Them: A Conversation with Amanda Jezek (November 13th)

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Appears in this episode

David Introcaso, Ph.D.
Podcast interviews with health policy experts on timely subjects. The Healthcare Policy Podcast website features audio interviews with healthcare policy experts on timely topics. An online public forum routinely presenting expert healthcare policy analysis and comment is lacking. While other healthcare policy website programming exists, these typically present vested interest viewpoints or do not combine informed policy analysis with political insight or acumen. Since healthcare policy issues are typically complex, clear, reasoned, dispassionate discussion is required. These podcasts will attempt to fill this void. Among other topics this podcast will address: Implementation of the Affordable Care Act Other federal Medicare and state Medicaid health care issues Federal health care regulatory oversight, moreover CMS and the FDA Healthcare research Private sector healthcare delivery reforms including access, reimbursement and quality issues Public health issues including the social determinants of health Listeners are welcomed to share their program comments and suggest programming ideas. Comments made by the interviewees are strictly their own and do not represent those of their affiliated organization/s.
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Conservative estimates show hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) sicken two million Americans, directly kill 23,000 and contribute to a total of 100,000 deaths each year.  The bacterial infection C. diff (Clostridium difficile) alone causes 250,000 people to be hospitalized annually.  Healthcare costs associated with these infections are estimated at over $50 billion.  These illnesses and deaths are largely the result of an overuse or misuse of antibiotics that causes bacteria to become over time drug or anti-microbial resistent.  (Fifty percent of all antibioticis prescribed for people are not needed.)  The CDC has recently termed these "nightmare bacteria." They pose, the CDC has stated further, a "catastrophic threat" to the public's health. 

During this 23 minute interview Ms. Jezek explains why antimicrobials are overused both in human and food animal populations, why drug companies have been pulling out of doing research in this area, what's being done to spur researchers to develop new anti-bacterials including the IDSA's 10 x 2020 program, what IDSA is doing regarding bacterial transplants, what's being done by the FDA under 2012 GAIN Act and what the Congress has tried to do, or is trying to do, to address this substantial public health problem.

Ms. Amanda Jezek is the VP for Public Policy and Government Relations at the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) which represents over 10,000 physicians and scientists.  In her position Amanda is responsible for policy development and advocacy on IDSA priority issues including antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial and diagnositcs development, preparedness and federal funding.  Prior to joining IDSA, Amanda was the Deputy Director for Federal Affairs at the March of Dimes Foundation.  Amanda has lobbied for Mental Health American and worked as a Legislative Assistant and Press Secretary for Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA).  Amanda received her BA from Dartmouth College.