UK Group Asks for Forty Billion Dollars to Deal with the Antibiotic Resistance

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A report today from the UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance calls for ten global interventions for addressing the demand for unnecessary antibiotics and to increase the investment in new drugs and also alternative therapies which comes with an estimated forty billion dollars price tag. The report predicts that annual deaths that are attributable to antibiotic resistant infections will increase from the current seven hundred thousand to ten million by the end of year 2050 if no action is taken to counter drug resistance immediately.

The independent AMR report that was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust and the UK government and that was chaired by economist Jim O’Neill, PhD, MA, UK treasury secretary, suggests 10 interventions to stem demand for antibiotics and also encouraging research into treatments which meets crucial medical needs.

The 7 recommendations for reducing any unnecessary use of antimicrobials are:

  • Develop a global public awareness campaign
  • Improve water and sanitation quality
  • Regulate agricultural antibiotic use
  • Heighten the surveillance of antimicrobial use and resistant infections
  • Invest in rapid diagnostic methods
  • Increase the uptake of available vaccines and also alternative therapies
  • Attract many more professionals to the fields of microbiology and infectious disease

The AMR authors also states that implementing a global innovation fund for the purpose of treatments that might not be commercially attractive and also introducing incentives for investing in new and improvised antimicrobials are 2 steps that are necessary to increase the supply of effective antibiotics.

The 10th and overarching, recommendation that was made by the AMR report calls for the United Nations and the Group of 20 to form a global coalition that is dedicated to shepherding antibiotic stewardship. The report’s authors have made an estimation that all ten programs would cost forty billion dollars over the next ten years, which is a fraction of approximately hundred trillion dollars in global production lost due to drug resistant infections that is predicted to occur by end of 2050.
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The authors stated that, efforts to cut down the wasteful, unnecessary and very harmful use of critical antibiotics needs educating the public about the proper antimicrobial use. The authors also went on to say that public engagement in bringing down the demand for antimicrobials must be fostered through a global public awareness campaign; this could be funded by the company sponsorship at major events and also institutional program support in low and middle income nations.

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