Tackling drug-resistant infections globally - the final report published

In 2014 the UK Prime Minister, James Cameron, commissioned the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust. Macroeconomist Jim O’Neill was appointed as the chair for this independent review. Several reports have been published since and last week the final report with recommendations was published. The author O’Neill makes several recommendations about actions to be taken to tackle the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance.

Figures mentioned in the report are stunning: presently estimated 700 000 AMR related deaths could turn into as many as 10 million deaths in 2050. If nothing is done. This would be clearly a larger amount than the cancer deaths presently. Although is a challenge, he believes it is possible to be tackled. It is just important to start acting quickly to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics. The actions suggested in the report are:

  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 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.

Relating to the diagnostics, he states “I call on the governments of the richest countries to mandate now that by 2020, all antibiotic prescriptions will need to be informed by up-to-date surveillance information and a rapid diagnostic test wherever such exists.”

The full report is available here: http://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/160518_Final%20paper_with%20cover.pdf

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Published May, 27 2016