Antimicrobial Resistance has been hitting the headlines since the final O'Neill report was released in May 2016 but listening to his presentation last night the figures really do speak for themselves. At the University of Nottingham Chancellors Lecture, Lord O'Neill very candidly shared and debated the threat that AMR poses but also the relatively "straightforward" actions that need to be addressed. As an economist he highighted that in order to implement the 10 point action plan below it would cost $40billion but to save the global economy $100 trillion, this was a 2500% return on investment that should be value for money in anyone's eyes.
Of all of the 10 areas highlighted, Lord O'Neill highlighted diagnostics as being the most vital area to be addressed. New diagnostics tests are being developed but using new and old diagnostic tests appropriately remains a challenge across the world.
Pharmaceutical companies often come under fire for the high cost of newer drugs but Lord O'Neill accepts that it is these companies that have the manufacturing, regulatory and sales and marketing skills to develop the drugs that are required so they should be financially rewarded for investing in AMR, but should there be a tax on companies that do not want to invest in this critical area.."Play or Pay" ?
The lecture and debate that followed provided a very valuable insight into the motivations behind the report but also the stark effect of inaction on both human health but also the health of the global economy. Legislation is starting to go through on the human, agriculture and veterinary sectors but it is incumbent on the government and media to ensure that the legislation is understood and everyone is aware of even the smallest of changes that can be made to make a difference to that startling headline.
What will you do?
Become an antibiotic guardian and spread the message to family and friends www.antibioticguardian.com
If you are a healthcare professional, attend the European Vaccines and Diagnostics Conference in AMR in London in June www.europeanvaccinesdiagnostics.com