The Case for a Subscription Model to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance

  15 February 2022

Another pandemic—one that could result in more deaths and severe illnesses than COVID-19—looms. But unlike COVID-19, which took the world by surprise, this pandemic is already in plain sight. The question is, will we take the necessary steps to avoid it and its deadly consequences while there is still time?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)—bacteria’s development of resistance to antibiotics, the miracle drug of the last 100 years—is a growing global threat. The culprits are many, but the result is the same: bacteria acquire strengths that overpower antibiotic treatments and render them ineffective to useless. Imagine a widespread outbreak of pneumonia or meningitis or even strep throat with no effective way to treat the illness. A 2019 study attributes 141,000 deaths in high-income countries directly to bacterial AMR. Other studies project that the cumulative global AMR death toll, which currently stands at about 1.27 million, will reach 10 million by 2050—unless we act to stop it.

This report focuses on the threat of AMR, its root causes, and the failure of the market to support sufficient innovation, which has led us to where we are today. It also offers a roadmap for taking collective global action to avoid another worldwide public health crisis. In preparing it, BCG worked closely with the World Economic Forum, Wellcome, and the Novo Nordisk Foundation. We also leveraged insights from international and country-specific experts representing the US, the UK, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, and China.

Further reading: BCG
Author(s): Till Boluarte and Ulrik Schulze
Smart Innovations  


Unrestricted financial support by:


Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition

Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre



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