Superbugs pose a dangerous, $65 billion threat to the U.S. health-care system

According to a new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), superbug infections could cost the lives of approximately 2.4 million people in North America, Europe, and Australia over the next 30 years unless more is done to stem antibiotic resistance.

According to a new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), superbug infections could cost the lives of approximately 2.4 million people in North America, Europe, and Australia over the next 30 years unless more is done to stem antibiotic resistance. On average, about 29,500 persons die each year in the United States from infections related to eight resistant bacteria. By 2050, it is estimated that antimicrobial resistance will kill about 1 million people in the United States. In the United States alone, the health care costs dealing with antimicrobial resistance could reach $65 billion by 2050, the OECD report says. A short-term investment to stem the superbug tide would save lives and money in the long run, the report notes. "Investing $2 per person per year in a comprehensive package encompassing public health measures would avoid about 47,000 deaths per year in OECD countries," says Michele Cecchini, senior health economist and policy analyst at OECD'S health division. "The public health package could pay for itself within just 1 year and end up by saving $4.8 billion of dollars per year in OECD countries."