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OTC Antimicrobial Resistance Study Outlined In Multi-Agency "Action Plan"

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

A coalition of federal agencies will conduct an evaluation of OTC drug antimicrobial handwashes to assess whether such products could cause long-term bacterial resistance, according to a draft report issued June 22 by FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

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Evaluation of the benefits and risks of incorporating antimicrobial, disinfectant or antiseptic chemicals into consumer products such as soaps is one of the goals addressed in final interdepartmental antimicrobial resistance action plan unveiled by HHS Jan. 18. Although not specified in the final version, a draft released in June said agencies likely would consider whether such products "have any efficacy in reducing infection" or "play a role in promoting drug resistance" (1"The Tan Sheet" June 26, 2000, p. 7). Plan developed by Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance designates priorities, identifies agencies responsible for different charges and sets timelines for facilitating surveillance, prevention and control and R&D for addressing antimicrobial resistance. CDC, NIH and FDA are leading the task force of 10 agencies and departments

Antimicrobial action plan

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