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Economist Jim O’Neill presents final international recommendations to defeat superbugs

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 toJim O’Neill speaker 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’

Jim O’Neill urges “Current antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective”

Jim O'Neill speakerWriting for Project Syndicate, Jim O’Neill, Chairman of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), discusses the state of current antibiotics, and the G-7’s commitment to tackling AMR.

O’Neill argues that current antibiotics are becoming ineffective, especially when fighting common illnesses, as well as serious infections, and the more serious infections such as tuberculosis and malaria are now at risk again to become incurable.

It is imperative that the G-20 – and China fight for “antimicrobial resistance” (AMR) to the next level. The failure to address these issues will affect everyone, “to the extent that by 2050, ten million people could be dying as a result of AMR.”

International communities involvement is crucial for any G-7 strategy to be successful, and “that is why members of the World Health Organization have agreed to implement a “global action plan on AMR,” and have called upon the United Nations to convene a high-level meeting of political leaders in 2016.

O’Neill outlines steps for the G-7 countries to fulfill the commitments in their joint declaration. First, he believes antibiotics in animal husbandry should be reduced, and that the best way to do this is by putting pressure on major food companies. Second, medicines should only be used when they are needed, and the key to addressing this problem is, “to develop and improve access to rapid point-of-care diagnostic tools.” Finally,“improved surveillance of the spread of drug-resistant infections, particularly in developing countries, where such data is most sparse.”

“The governments have a rare opportunity to preempt a major crisis, at a fraction of the cost of responding to the crisis once it has been escalated.”

Click here to read the full article.

For more information, or to book Jim O’Neill as a speaker for your conference or event, please contact Alex Hickman at alex@chartwellspeakers.com or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8004.

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