A review on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by Lord Jim O’Neill sets out a comprehensive action plan for the world to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, develop new rapid diagnostics tools and incentivize research into new antibiotics.
According to the report, if not tackled urgently, antimicrobial resistance could kill 10 million people a year by 2050, the equivalent of 1 person every 3 seconds; more than cancer kills today.
“Indeed, even at the current rates, it is fair to assume that over one million people will have died from AMR since I started this Review in the summer of 2014. This is truly shocking”, said Lord O’Neill in the Review. “As well as these tragic human costs, AMR also has a very real economic cost, which will continue to grow if resistance is not tackled. The cost in terms of lost global production between now and 2050 would be an enormous 100 trillion USD if we do not take action”.
The review makes 10 key suggestions on how the world needs to take action to tackle AMR:
1. A massive global public awareness campaign
2. Improve hygiene and prevent the spread of infection
3. Reduce unnecessary use of antimicrobials in agriculture and their dissemination into the environment
4. Improve global surveillance of drug resistance and antimicrobial consumption in humans and animals
5. Promote new, rapid diagnostics to cut out unnecessary use of antibiotics
6. Promote development and use of vaccines and alternatives
7. Improve the numbers, pay and recognition of people working in infectious disease
8. Establish a Global Innovation Fund for early-stage and non-commercial research
9. Better incentives to promote investment for new drugs and improving existing ones
10. Build a global coalition for real action – via the G20 and the UN
Commenting on the findings of the review, Professor Stephen Busby, Chair of the Biochemical Society Executive Committee said:
“We welcome Lord O'Neill's report, which makes a number of recommendations on how this wide-reaching global problem can be tackled. Molecular bioscience research has much to contribute, and sustained support and commitment is essential to achieving solutions. We welcome the financial support structures that are being proposed, such as the Global Innovation Fund, diagnostic market stimulus and market entry rewards. These will support early stage research to develop new antibiotics, find new targets, and pioneer rapid diagnostics. The Biochemical Society, along with other societies, is helping to tackle this issue through the Learned Society Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance, through which we focus on championing best practice and raising awareness of this global challenge.”
The full review and accompanying publications are available on the AMR Review website.