The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) convened a task force to study the current prevelance of antibiotic resistance and the problems associated with it. The task force produced a series of recommendations centered around three key elements: (a) education of the physician and the public; (b) encouragement of more basic research directed to the development of new antimicrobials and vaccines; and (c) the setting-up of a national surveillance system to both confirm and monitor the extent of the problem. Since the publication of this report in 1995, progress has been slow. No "consortium-style" funding has been set aside and any initiatives, such as the first steps in an education program by the ASM, are still in their planning phases. The spirit of cooperation and trust needed to deal with this problem appears to be lacking.