Dr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, calls for a global, holistic and multi-sectorial approach that brings together public and private stakeholders to solve the urgent challenge of antimicrobial resistance.
“The challenge of developing antibiotics to address the greatest global public health needs cannot be solved by one country or actor alone.”
Antibiotics have transformed the world by making previously incurable illnesses treatable and allowing medical procedures to be performed safely. But today, the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is outpacing drug discovery at an alarming rate.
While drug resistance occurs naturally over time due to genetic changes in bacteria, other factors also contribute to the increase in drug-resistant bacteria. These include the over use and inappropriate use of antibiotics in human and animal medicine and in food production, poor infection prevention and control, as well as a lack of affordable, globally available quality medicines.
With few antibiotics in development, AMR is a major and rapidly growing global challenge that is making previously easy to treat infections harder to manage. Approximately 700,000 people worldwide die of drugresistant infections every year, but this could grow to ten million each year if effective measures to tackle the issue are not implemented, according to the UK Government-commissioned 2016 review on AMR…
Dr Manica Balasegaram
Executive Director, Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership