The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report titled “Antibiotic Resistance: Data Gaps Will Remain Despite HHS Taking Steps to Improve Monitoring.” The report calls for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to collect more comprehensive data on antibiotic use in the United States to “help policymakers determine what portion of antibiotic resistance is attributed to human antibiotic use, and set priorities for action to control the spread of resistance.”

According to GAO, the CDC does not monitor inpatient antibiotic use or collect data on “all types of resistant infections to make facilitywide estimates.” Apparently, the agency’s information is also “not nationally representative.” Without this information, GAO contends that “CDC’s ability to assess the overall scope of the public health problem and plan and implement preventive activities will be impeded.” The report notes that federal agencies have detected antibiotics intended for human use and for use in animals in the environment.