Today is the kick-off of World Antibiotics Awareness Week (WAAW). On that occasion, we stress the need for more collaboration in the field of antimicrobial resistance to tackle its ever-growing threat. AMR-Global is a Dutch public private partnership that aims to collaborate at a global scale to tackle AMR through different facets, ranging from better prevention, diagnostics and surveillance to novel antimicrobial treatment strategies.
Globally, drug-resistant microorganisms already account for an estimated 700,000 deaths a year. Currently, antibacterial resistance kills nearly fifty thousand people per year across the EU and USA, amounting to a healthcare expenditure of nearly 18 billion Euros. If we do not act on the problem of AMR, the loss of GDP because of AMR will have accumulated to 100 trillion dollars by 2050, and life-years lost may exceed cancer death rates.
There are many issues and topics around AMR to be addressed; and in our WAAW story we aim to outline some of them briefly to raise public awareness on the matter.
Firstly, one is dealing with an equity issue; Low- and Middle-income countries (LMIC) must be assisted in solving the problem as they may not have the financial or infrastructural capacity to do so and have other public health priorities. AMR-Global therefore focusses its attention on assisting LMIC keeping in mind that resistance hits them hardest and spreads across our borders.
Secondly, the financial motivation to invest in novel medicines is lacking because drug efficacy is diminishing with AMR on the rise, whilst new antibiotics are often only used as last resort solution, thus not offering great revenue prospects. This is the reason that AMR-Global calls on public and private support to drive innovation in this area.
Thirdly, there is a lack of community involvement in the process of fighting AMR. In all AMR-Global’s endeavors, we stress the importance of designing solutions according to community needs by actively engaging the communities we seek to serve.
Then, there is the issue of unnecessary antibiotic usage which must urgently be addressed through diagnostics. AMR-Global promotes infection prevention to fight AMR.
During WAAW, and every other day, AMR-Global aims to raise awareness and presses the urgent need to prioritize antimicrobial resistance on public health agendas through global health governance using a collaborative approach. We need to include all disciplines, countries, and private/public sectors to achieve the most impact on AMR reduction. We call on both public and private organizations to join the mission at AMR-Global and tackle AMR together.