BSAC welcomes O’Neill Commission on AMR first report

BSAC has welcomed The O’Neill Commission’s first report,  Antimicrobial Resistance tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations, which starkly headlines predictions that drug resistant infections will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide  by 2050 unless action is taken to contain antimicrobial resistance.  Drug resistant infections are currently considered responsible for 700,000 deaths worldwide each year.  This first report is an analysis not only of the human cost of resistance, but also the economic and societal costs which are estimated to spiral to £63 trillion by 2050 which is, as reported by the Chair of the Commission, economist Jim O’Neill, equivalent to 35 years of the UK GDP (gross domestic product) to the world economy.

Responding to the analysis the President of BSAC, Dr Nick Brown said this “We are pleased to see such a high profile report on the economic and societal costs of antimicrobial resistance – it is important that those in sectors beyond healthcare are aware that this is not merely a clinical or scientific issue, but that the implications and consequences of antimicrobial resistance if left unchallenged will impact on the health and well being of millions of individuals worldwide and will have a significant impact on the global economy“.

Professor Laura Piddock, BSAC Chair in Public Engagement and Director of Antibiotic Action said “This first analysis, and the continuing work of the Commission, is of critical importance.  We are pleased that the work of initiatives such as Antibiotic Action and Re-Act are being realised, translated and taken forward in this way“.  Speaking on the BBC News today, Professor Piddock talked of the lack of global investment in finding new drugs, saying “It is very difficult to find drugs effective against bacteria like E.coli because they are naturally resistant to many antibiotics.  We need more investment and new business models to ensure the pipeline is filled with promising molecules, to ensure that we can solve this problem, and make sure the drugs are there when patients need them.”

President-elect, Professor Dilip Nathwani had this to say “BSAC is a progressive organisation and is already working to respond to the work of the Commission and address antimicrobial resistance on a global scale.  The Society has partnered with the University of Dundee to deliver a Massive Open Online Course on Antimicrobial Stewardship.  This innovative, open access course will deliver education on antimicrobial stewardship relevant to differing health economies across the globe – building our international “train the trainers” stewardship conferences, the first two of which were hosted in the Gulf Region and India“.