Combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
I had the pleasure of leading the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance on behalf of the British Government. This AMR Review concluded that if we don’t undertake big policy initiatives, by 2050 there could be 10 million people around the world dying from AMR-related illnesses. Moreover, we projected that the lost economic potential due to AMR between 2015 and 2050 could be a staggering $100 trillion.1 Ten different intervention areas require serious policy attention, only some of which are making progress. Among the most important is the need for rapid and affordable diagnostics. We need modern technology to discipline all 7 billion of us to stop pressuring our medical practitioners to prescribe antibiotics when they aren’t necessary, and the food industry needs to stop fattening animals and fish with antibiotics, in order to permanently reduce our excessive dependence on the few drugs that work and the new ones we hope to have in the future. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.
1 O’Neill J, Chair. Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally: Final Report and Recommendations. London, UK: Review on Antimicrobial Resistance; 2016; p. 1-84.