New Policy Briefs on the Situation of AMR in Japan and Abroad
Antimicrobials are a foundational pillar of modern medicine. Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, antimicrobials have been used across the world to save countless lives from infectious diseases and supported the treatment of non-communicable diseases as well.
However, as humanity uses antimicrobials more and more, the microorganisms that cause infectious diseases adapt, and grow resistant to treatment. This naturally occurring process is called “antimicrobial resistance” (AMR). Without serious action to combat the spread of AMR, we could face a situation in which many people once again die from currently treatable diseases.
Already, in Japan, it is estimated that as many as 8,000 people die every year of AMR-related causes, double the amount of people who die annually from traffic accidents. In comparison, as of November 17, 2020, a total of 1,913 people have passed away in Japan from COVID-19. Looking globally, it is estimated that AMR leads to the death of as many as 700,000 people annually. If trends continue, by 2050, as many as 10 million people could potentially die of AMR-related causes globally every year.
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