The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics Logo

The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics is at the forefront of fighting antibiotic resistance, so they'd be pretty cool to work for.

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The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics

Just two weeks ago we were talking about market failures and externalities when we looked at The Institute for Market Transformation. Today we’re going to look at an organization that focuses on a single issue that is dominated by externalities. Antibiotics are truly wonder drugs. They can cure all kinds of ailments. One of their few downfalls is that the more that they’re used, the less effective they become. Now, this isn’t an individual drug resistance, but a worldwide one. If I use an antibiotic today, it may not work as well for you next year. Unfortunately, individual incentives for both doctors and patients lead to antibiotic overuse. The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics is a Boston, MA based non-profit organization that does exactly what its name says. Their “specialized staff provides field consultations and lend specialized expertise to guide policy makers, provider organizations, and other stakeholders seeking to improve antimicrobial supply, use, and management decisions.”

How Prudent Are You?

You’ve had your head in the toilet for four days. You have a stomach bug, and it’s not going away. You go to the doctor and beg for antibiotics. He tells you that your situation is most likely viral, but to shut you up he gives you some antibiotics. You start feeling better the next day, and you assume it’s the antibiotics that did the trick. You won’t only beg next time, but you’ll insist. It’s an ugly cycle, and it’s a big part of the reason that antibiotic resistance is becoming such a problem. Nobody cares about the long-term costs of their own use when the costs will be passed off to the next guy who gets sick. You may think that this is a relatively new problem, but The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics has been talking about it for nearly 30 years. They’re at the forefront of the field, and they’re constantly working on “Preserving the Power of Antibiotics.” If you’d like to join them, you can learn about job opportunities here. Right now they’re looking for an Executive Assistant/Project Coordinator and a Part-time Administrative Assistant. Both look like great opportunities, so check them out.

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

How often do you use antibiotics?

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