Antibiotic Research UK comments on the G20 summit Lord Jim O’Neill’s response to the outcomes of the summit
In response to Lord Jim O'Neill's comments on the outcomes of the G20 summit, Antibiotic Research UK discusses the recognition of antimicrobial resistance as a global threat.
Professor Colin Garner, chief executive at Antibiotic Research UK (ANTRUK), the world’s first charity established to fight against the threat of antimicrobial resistance, comments: “The G20’s recognition of antimicrobial resistance as a major threat to global development is a huge step forward in creating a global response to the growing problem, but the decision to schedule the report containing recommendations on global action for 2017 is a dangerously complacent move. Since Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, highlighted the threat of antibiotic resistance in March 2013, over 2.5 million people have died worldwide and the numbers are increasing every year. In the UK, we need to think global but act local.
“The report is being worked on by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and aims to address the economic issues at the heart of the problem of antimicrobial resistance, in particular the shocking underinvestment in research and development into new antimicrobials and diagnostics by private companies. Now that pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has pulled out of any further antibiotic drug development, it is more important than ever for charities to be offered the opportunity to step into the void left by the drug companies in formulating a solution to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistant superbugs.”
Dr David Brown, chairman of the charity’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee adds: “Market failure is not the sole issue in addressing the threat of antibiotic resistance, as the inappropriate global use of antibiotics on farms also needs to be urgently addressed. A global agreement is needed to remove 'last resort' antibiotics from animal use totally. We also need new antibiotic development ideas and actions from a much broader scientific base than just the large pharmaceutical companies. Charities such as ANTRUK can play a key role in the fight against bacterial infections, and can move much faster than global bureaucracies, but they need financial support and that is not currently being recognised by governments.”