Mr Cameron warned that the world could soon be “cast back into the dark ages of medicine” unless action is taken to tackle the growing threat of resistance to antibiotics. He has appointed Jim O’Neill to lead a panel including experts from science, finance, industry, and global health, which will set out plans for encouraging the development of new antibiotics. The panel will be analysing three key issues:
- The increase in drug-resistant strains of bacteria.
- The “market failure” which has seen no new classes of antibiotics for more than 25 years.
- The over-use of antibiotics globally.
Although Jim, a high-profile economist and creator of the BRICs acronym, is not an expert on antibiotics or microbes, Mr Cameron told the BBC it was important to have an economist heading the review: “There is a market failure; the pharmaceutical industry hasn’t been developing new classes of antibiotics, so we need to create incentives.”
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