Strengthening of India’s pharma industry needs to go hand in hand with collaborative AMR mitigation

  20 November 2021

The economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have reiterated the destructive capacity of untreatable infectious diseases. While we actively find various mitigation strategies to control this pandemic, we must pause to reflect on the veiled public health emergency – antimicrobial resistance (AMR), threatening public health and economies worldwide. Increased AMR in microbes like bacteria, fungi, and parasites diminish the efficacy of antibiotics in treating simple infections. The writing is already on the wall – a recent WHO-supported report has found high rates of AMR in the bloodstream and urinary tracts among the population of countries with reported data on AMR. The rising of AMR in common infections would offset medical advancements made over the years, as pre-pandemic estimates suggested AMR will induce 10 million deaths every year by 2050. It is already being discussed that the extensive use of antibiotics for clinical management of the pandemic has driven up AMR even further.

Combating AMR calls for a multi-sectoral strategy nestled in the One Health Approach. Apart from the collaboration between governments and multi-lateral agencies, the pharmaceutical sector is a key player for the One Health Approach to have the desired impact. The functioning of our healthcare systems depend on sustained access to medicines. Disruptions like a pandemic or geopolitical crisis can lead to critical drug shortages and escalate adverse patient outcomes. The supply chain continuum must be both socially and environmentally conscious. While stabilizing the supply chain to absorb future shocks is important, the industry must pivot towards environmentally responsible ways of manufacturing APIs and drugs in finished dosage forms. This is imperative to mitigate AMR resulting from drug manufacturing.

Further reading: ET Health World
Author(s): Manjit Singh
Clean Environment  
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