O'Neill calls for action on drug-resistant infection

The AMR Review team, chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill, has set out what the world needs to do to tackle the problem of drug-resistant infections.

AMR Review chair, Lord Jim O'Neill

Lord O’Neill estimates that by 2050 a drug-resistant infection will kill someone “every three seconds” unless we act now.

In its ten-point plan, the AMR Review team highlights different ways to stop the unnecessary use of antimicrobials (which include antibiotics) and increase the supply of new drugs.

Measures they suggest to reduce demand for drugs include:

  • stricter limits on the use of antibiotics in farming
  • better surveillance
  • introducing rapid diagnostics in GP clinics and hospitals.

To encourage pharmaceutical companies to make new drugs they propose introducing 'market entry rewards', which would mean paying companies if they bring a new drug to market.

The team also recommend starting a global innovation fund, again to encourage the development of new drugs.

Finally, the report examines how these solutions can be paid for and how we can reach political agreement around them.

Reacting to the report, Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, praised Jim O’Neill and the team for raising the global profile of the issue.

He added: “It is now up to world leaders, business and civil society to respond to this vital call for action."

Read the full report on the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance website.