30 Jun 2016
Jim O'Neill presents his final international recommendations for the world to defeat superbugs
The final report on Antimicrobial Resistance commissioned by the UK government provides a comprehensive action plan to prevent drug-resistant infections and defeat the rising threat of superbugs.
The global costs if we do not take action now could be 10 million people dying every year by 2050, and a cumulative economic cost of around 100 trillion USD.
The report focuses on ten measures to reduce the unnecessary use of antimicrobials, which will make the drugs we currently have last longer. It also looks at how we can increase the supply of new antimicrobial drugs.
Of the ten measures covered in the report, here are four that are considered to be particularly important:
1. A global public awareness campaign to educate all of us about the problem of drug resistance. This must be an urgent priority and the Review urges international campaign developers, industry.
2. The supply of new antibiotics needs to be improved so they can replace existing ones as they become ineffective.
3. We need to use antibiotics more selectively through the use of rapid diagnostics, to reduce unnecessary use, which speeds the incidence and spread of drug resistance.
4. We must reduce the global unnecessary use of antibiotics in agriculture. In the US, for example, of the antibiotics defined as medically important for humans by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), over 70 percent (by weight) are sold for use in animals.