ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE - AMR
Antibiotics are medicines that work to treat or prevent bacterial infections, but many are losing their effectiveness due to AMR. As a leading global provider of anti-infective medicines, we offer patients access to a diverse portfolio of more than 80 products, including 45 antibiotics that are currently included on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) essential medicines list.1,15 The role of anti-infectives and vaccines underpin modern medicine as we know it, curing and even preventing many kinds of infections.2,10 We want to ensure that patients continue to benefit from vaccines and the appropriate use of antibiotics so that they work to fight infections in the way that they should. THE THREAT OF AMR AMR arises when the micro-organisms which cause infection (e.g. bacteria) survive exposure to a medicine that would normally kill them or stop their growth. This allows those strains that are capable of surviving exposure to a particular drug to grow and spread, due to lack of competition from other strains. This has led to the emergence of ‘superbugs’ such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and multi drug-resistant tuberculosis, bacteria which are difficult or impossible to treat with existing medicines.2 AMR can affect anyone, of any age, in any country. The WHO characterises AMR, particularly in Gram-negative bacteria, as one of the biggest threats to global public health today.3,4,5 Globally, AMR causes 700,000 deaths annually. Industry, with government are working to address the challenge set in a recent international review led by Lord O’Neill who said this figure could rise to 10 million deaths per year by 2050, which would exceed estimates of deaths caused by cancer.