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DEALING with the challenge of antimicrobial resistance was top of the agenda for discussion at a meeting of the science ministers of the G8 countries last week. The meeting, which was hosted by David Willetts, the UK's minister of state for universities and science, was held at the Royal Society in London on June 12. This was the first time in five years that the G8's science ministers had met to discuss international issues that require global cooperation. The meeting was also attended by the presidents of the national science academies of the countries involved.
After their meeting, the ministers issued a statement which, among other things, acknowledged antimicrobial resistance as ‘a major health security challenge of the 21st century’. They pledged to work together, and with existing agencies, on developing the scientific input needed to reduce antimicrobial resistance. They also pledged to consider other activities to:
■Preserve the efficacy of existing antimicrobial agents, in part by avoiding misuse and optimising prescribing practices in their respective countries (for human, veterinary and aquaculture use);
■Prevent the emergence of antimicrobial/drug resistance, in …
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