The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), chaired by economist Jim O’Neill, has published its second paper, recommendeding specific steps to restrict the rise of drug-resistant infections or superbugs worldwide.
In July 2014, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron commissioned Jim O’Neill to lead the review on antimicrobial resistance.
Cameron said: "Resistance to antibiotics is a growing problem that will have a devastating effect on modern medicine if we fail to act now."
In December 2014, the independent review published its first paper, which reported that drug-resistant infections will result in the deaths of an additional ten million lives a year by 2050, if failed to take proper action on the global problem.
Jim O’Neill said: "I am calling on international funders, philanthropic or governmental, to allocate money to a fund that can support blue sky science and incubate ideas that are more mature.
"Antibiotics research is the poor relation to studying chronic diseases of the developed world but, without antibiotics, treating those diseases can be compromised too."
The report has recommended five specific actions to handle the problem. The other recommendations include re-examining of existing drugs, in a bid to create new doses or combinations that could restore the effectiveness of existing antibiotics, and improved diagnostics for accurate prescribing and to reduce unnecessary prescribing.
Additional recommendation includes investment on human capital, which will include the training of next-generation scientists, social scientists, economists and vets, whose collective minds will allow in solving the issue.
Final recommendation includes tracking the spread of resistance, which will generate better surveillance data and allow in collecting real-time information.
Currently, the team is involved in investigating market incentives to prepare next report, which is expected to be released in the spring.
Image: Independent review called for global investment, better diagnostics and surveillance to solve AMR problem. Photo: courtesy of Medical Research Council.