If you have any questions about this policy proposal, please send an email to grassroots@shea-online.org.

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Each year in the United States more than two million people acquire a serious infection, which is resistant to one or more of the antibiotics designed to treat such an infection. As a direct result of these antibiotic-resistant infections, more than 23,000 people die each year in the United States.

Regarding cost to the U.S. economy, some estimates have ranged as high as $20 billion in excess direct healthcare costs. An additional estimate of $35 billion is charged to society for lost productivity.

The United States has an international commitment to combat antimicrobial resistance after the United Nations set this as a vision, which was reaffirmed in 2017 by the G20.

Even with these alarming statistics, the misuse and overuse of antibiotics continuous to drive antibiotic resistance. Up to 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed. If not addressed, antibiotic resistance will result in many antibiotics becoming ineffective, which will jeopardize patients and make routine medical procedures too risky.

What is the STAAR ACT?

The Strategies to Address Antibiotic Resistance Act (the STAAR Act) takes a multi-faceted approach by strengthening existing federal infrastructure for surveillance, data collection, and research efforts. Particularly, it supports the important Prevention Epicenters, which provides richer opportunities to evaluate new and existing tools, strategies, and evidence-based interventions. Furthermore, the STAAR Act will facilitate public health research and assess surveillance strategies for health care settings.

The bill will also further the development and implementation of antibiotic stewardship initiatives, which help prescribers know when antibiotics are needed and what best treatment choices are for a patient. This initiative will help improve the use of the antibiotics and prevent the overuse or misuse of antibiotics.

Where does SHEA Stand?

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) overwhelmingly endorses the STAAR Act. SHEA strongly believes this legislation will strengthen U.S. efforts to prevent and contain infectious diseases caused by antibiotic resistance while allowing the U.S. to be a leader in addressing antimicrobial resistance.

SHEA continues to urge members of congress to support the STAAR Act so the U.S. may have the necessary infrastructure to address the critical issue of antimicrobial resistance, which, in the end, will protect patients from life-threatening infections.

What will SHEA do next?

SHEA will continue to track the progress of this legislation and work with other stakeholders to encourage members of congress to stand behind this important piece of legislation. Now that the STAAR Act has reintroduced in the 116th Congress, SHEA strongly supports its advancement to be passed by both the Senate and the House and signed by the President so it may be made law.

How can I get involved? 

SHEA understand and appreciates your desire to stay informed and to get directly involved in SHEA’s next steps. To receive regular updates and to receive instructions on how to get involved, join SHEA’s Grassroots Network by emailing grassroots@shea-online.org. Tell your senator to join Senator Sherrod Brown in sponsoring the STAAR Act

To become involved on social media, use the hashtag #ReachForTheSTAAR or #STAARAct.

Time Line

August 2019
  • SHEA signs open letter, with 20 other organizations, to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in support of STAAR Act
July 2019
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 116th Congress (S. 2304) in United States Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
March 2018
  • Infectious Diseases Experts Applaud Legislation to Address Antibiotic Resistance
February 2018
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 115th Congress (S. 2469) in United States Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • SHEA Signs onto open letter, with 39 other organizations, to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in support of STAAR Act
July 2016
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 114th Congress (S. 3176) in United States Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
June 2013
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 113th Congress (H.R. 2285) in United States House by Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT-4)
May 2009
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 111th Congress (H.R. 2400) in United States House by Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT-4)
September 2007
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 110th Congress (H.R. 3697) in United States House by Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT-4)