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The Biochemical Society responds to the Government’s Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance


The Government has today published its five-year action plan and 20-year vision to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR), announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock at the World Economic Forum in Davos. 

The Society welcomes the ambitions of the 20-year vision, which sets out to “contain and control” AMR and highlights the necessity for Global and cross-disciplinary approaches.

In order to achieve these ambitions, the UK 5-year Action Plans targets three areas to address AMR:

  • Reducing the need and unintentional exposure to antimicrobials
  • Optimising the use of antimicrobials
  • Investing in innovation, supply and access

Examples of commitments include the raising of public awareness of AMR, and improvements to monitoring of both antimicrobial use and resistance in microbe populations.

Commenting on the publication of today’s papers, Dr David Pye, Honorary Policy Officer said:

“Antimicrobial resistance remains one of the greatest threats to global health, with serious implications for agriculture and the food chain. We welcome the long-term, global outlook of the Government’s vision towards combatting AMR over the next twenty years. Importantly, the National Action Plan acknowledges the challenges faced in the development of novel therapeutics, although the plan could be enhanced by specific commitments to help move research projects into clinical development.  We hope the level of investment by the government continues to improve as it has done over the last 5 years”

Dr Derry Mercer, member of the Society’s Policy Advisory Panel said:

“We are supportive of the strategies outlined in the Government’s Vision and Action plan to tackle AMR. Bridging the gap between early stage R & D of novel therapeutics and getting these compounds into late stage clinical trials comes at huge financial cost, and de-linking the price of antibiotics from the volumes sold may help incentivize investment. Within the plan, it is imperative that specific, measurable and timely targets are integrated into all actions to target AMR.”