19 May 2016, Geneva, Switzerland - The final recommendations of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) led by Lord Jim O’Neill and commissioned by UK Prime Minister David Cameron were released today, warning that AMR infections such as drug-resistant tuberculosis will kill 10 million people annually without an urgent expansion of new resources and funds.
The report provides a comprehensive action plan for the world to prevent drug-resistant infections, including a call for establishing a $2 billion Global Innovation Fund for early stage research and financial incentives to develop new tests to prevent unnecessary use of antibiotics.
The report highlights drug resistant tuberculosis as a 'cornerstone of the global AMR challenge', highlighting that one-quarter of the potential ten million annual AMR deaths by 2050 outlined in the report could be caused by drug-resistant tuberculosis without urgent action, which equates to one MDR-TB death every 12 seconds.
The report notes that the TB drug development field suffers from a prolonged period of disinvestment by commercial product developers leaving a perilously thin pipeline of products under development.
"Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest health threats of this generation. This report sets out the definitive case for governments, pharmaceutical companies, and politicians to take action", said Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, Chair of the Stop TB Partnership and Minister of Health, South Africa.
"Like other AMR infections, the relative neglect of research into new TB medicines is both a market and a moral failure. I am committed to advancing action on AMR and TB and hope the G20, amongst other stakeholders, will take concrete measures to avoid the ten million deaths a year predicted by 2050 from AMR if we fail to take action."
The report includes the findings of a new analysis of TB interventions commissioned by the AMR Review, concluding that introducing new diagnostic and new treatment regimens would save 770,000 lives over the next decade, underlining the significant impact new TB treatments and diagnostics would have.
"The TB community commends Lord Jim O’Neill and the AMR Review for this outstanding and timely report. The work of the Review will help galvanize world leaders to treat AMR infections such as MDR-TB which is unique among AMR threats as an airborne bacteria, with the same urgency and resources they’ve given to outbreaks such as Ebola and Zikka Virus", said Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.
"The report's recommendations on TB build on the momentum created by the U.S. National Action Plan for Combating MDR-TB released in December, and will ensure the political and financial neglect of drug resistant infections that has been the status quo is no longer defensible. We are fully committed to working with governments in the lead up to the G20 and the UN High-Level Meeting on AMR in September to ensure these recommendations on AMR and MDR-TB are turned into action along with the funding needed to implement them."