A global review on antimicrobial resistance, led by economist Lord Jim O’Neill, has set out its final recommendations, providing a comprehensive action plan for the world to prevent drug-resistant infections and defeat the rising threat of superbugs – estimated to save the global health bill $100tn a year by the year 2050, if the problem is left to rise unchecked.
International recommendations offered by the report are greater global awareness, the end of antibiotics use in animals – or better labelling so consumers are made aware of the risks – and dedicated funding supplied by pharmaceutical companies in developing new drugs to replace existing ones that are no longer effective. The report’s release met with strong objections claiming that it fails to show how treating such a global health problem should be collaborative and not left to pharma companies to fund and solve alone.
Lastly, it asserts that GPs need better tools to diagnose patients faster and more accurately to distinguish bacterial from viral infections, before they can prescribe antibiotics. No tests currently exist to tell if symptoms are caused by bacteria rather than a virus, often meaning that antibiotics are administered inappropriately.
Read more in an article published in The Guardian today: ‘No antibiotics without a test, says report on rising antimicrobial resistance’
Last year, British Prime Minister David Cameron asked economist Jim O’Neill to lead a review into antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which will propose global solutions to tackle this problem.
Writing in The Times, Jim warns that “public ignorance about the worldwide danger of superbugs could cost millions of lives.” Ahead of the final report, which is due in the Spring of 2016, Jim outlines ten things that need to be done:
- Embark on a massive global PR exercise
- Wash our hands more
- Stop using antibiotics for animal growth promoters
- Explore the scope for using vaccines
- Dramatically improve the surveillance of resistance
- State-of-the-art diagnostics
- Improve the numbers and pay of those studying AMR
- A global innovation fund
- A priority for China’s G20 leadership
- Let’s have some big new drugs
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For more information, or to book Jim O’Neill as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Alex Hickman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8004.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a review into antibiotic resistance, following his concerns over why so few anti-microbial drugs have been introduced in recent years.
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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To find out more about Jim O’Neill, or to book him as a speaker, please contact Alex Hickman at email@example.com or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8004.