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Antimicrobial resistance
Tackling AMR: time to turn ideas into action

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‘IT is time to turn ideas into effective action and to solve the problem of drug resistance.’

So says the final report of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, which was published on May 19. The review, chaired by the economist Jim O'Neill, has spent 19 months conducting a comprehensive examination of the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) from a global perspective. In its final report, the review outlines a 10-point programme (see right) for tackling AMR and makes 29 recommendations for action.

The review was commissioned in 2014 by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, following warnings of the threat posed by AMR. Since it began work, the review has published eight interim papers and recommendations and its final report pulls these together as a package of actions.

Writing in a foreword to the report, Lord O'Neill says that AMR ‘needs to be seen as the economic and security threat that it is’, and that it should ‘be at the forefront of the minds of heads of state, finance ministers, agriculture ministers, and of course health ministers for years to come’. He comments that it is possible that the estimates in the report may turn out to be too large but adds ‘we believe it is even more likely that they could be too small’, noting that the review had not considered the secondary effects of antibiotics losing their effectiveness, such as the risks in carrying out some routine surgical procedures. ‘Whatever the exact number, which of course we hope will never become a reality, the 100 trillion USD cost of inaction means that our recommended interventions are extremely good value for money on a relative basis,’ he says.

The 10 interventions proposed are grouped into three main categories – reducing demand, increasing availability and creating a global coalition for action. …

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