Hill Bill to Fight Superbugs Clears State Senate Health Committee

April 20, 2017

For Immediate Release – Office of State Senator Jerry Hill – Thursday, April 20, 2017

Senate Health Committee Approves Bill To Track Deadly Superbug Infections

California Would Become The First State In The Nation To Track Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Under Legislation By Senator Jerry Hill

SACRAMENTO – On a unanimous bipartisan vote, the Senate Committee on Health passed legislation Wednesday by Senator Jerry Hill that would make California the first state in the country to monitor and track antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths.

“Antibiotic-resistant infections pose a mounting public health crisis and we cannot tackle it without the critical information that enables us to assess and address the problem,” said Senator Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. “Senate Bill 43 allows us to capture that essential information.”

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 2 million Americans are infected with – and at least 23,000 Americans die as a result of – antibiotic-resistant infections every year, leading to at least $20 billion in direct health care costs and at least $35 billion in lost productivity in the United States.

Based on the CDC estimate, California’s Department of Public Health estimates that at least 3,000 deaths and 260,000 illnesses are caused by antibiotic-resistant infections each year. Such infections, however, are not among the more than 80 communicable diseases that the state health department tracks.

The federal estimate was made in 2013 and has not been updated. There is no mandate to periodically re-assess the statistics.

For California, SB 43 would establish a statewide public health surveillance system for tracking antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths. Specifically, the bill would:

· Require hospitals and clinical labs that test for antibiotic resistance to submit annual data to the state public health department.

· Require the department to devise a method to estimate the number of deaths resulting from superbugs each year.

· Require the department to publish an annual report, beginning January 1, 2020, and every January 1 thereafter, on the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths in California.

With the 9-0 vote by the Senate Committee on Health, SB 43 now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

Senator Hill has championed legislative efforts to slow the development of antibiotic resistance in the Golden State, making California a leader in the fight against superbugs:

· In 2015, Senator Hill authored SB 27, which was signed into law by Governor Brown, making California the first state in the nation to regulate the use of antibiotics in livestock.

· His SB 361, also signed into law in 2015, requires antibiotic stewardship programs in nursing homes to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use. The law also mandates antibiotic stewardship training for veterinarians.

· Hill’s SB 1311, signed into law in 2014, requires every hospital in the state to have an antibiotic stewardship program to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.

· In 2016, Hill introduced SB 994 to require antibiotic stewardship in outpatient doctors’ offices. The bill did not make it through the Legislature.

A 2014 study commissioned by the United Kingdom determined that by 2050, more people will die from antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide than from cancer.

Underscoring the threat to global health, all member states of the United Nations declared last September that they would fight the problem, marking only the fourth time in history that the UN convened to confront a health crisis. Then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called antimicrobial resistance “a fundamental, long-term threat to human health, sustainable food production and development.”

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Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, 415-298-3404leslie.guevarra@sen.ca.gov