“World Economic Forum report assesses global risk of antibiotic resistance”

“The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Risks Report, released this week, includes a section on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), noting that while initiatives to address antibiotic overuse and the lack of new antibiotics have been launched, concrete successes “remain elusive.”

In its 2013 Global Risks Report, the forum devoted a chapter to AMR that highlighted overuse of antibiotics in human and animal health and the fact that no new class of antibiotics had been invented since the 1980s. Revisiting this issue in a section of the 2018 report titled Hindsight, the forum suggests that the risks posed by AMR continue to intensify, both in terms of human health and the global economy.

In the years since 2013, for example, a report commissioned by the UK government (“The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance”) estimated that 700,000 deaths a year can be attributed to AMR—a figure significantly higher than presented in the forum’s 2013 report. In addition, while the forum estimated in 2013 that the potential economic impact of AMR was 0.4% to 1.6% of global GDP, a study published by the World Bank in 2017 estimated that AMR could have an impact of between 1.1 and 3.8 percentage points by 2050. Resistance to the strongest antibiotics has also continued to spread since 2013, highlighted by rising resistance to carbapenems and emerging resistance to the last-resort antibiotic colistin.

The authors acknowledge that global efforts to address AMR, including the World Health Organization’s 2015 Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, are encouraging, as are initiatives to encourage the discovery and development of new antibiotics. However, they write, “We still face two trends that spell potential disaster: new classes of drugs are not being invented and resistance to existing drugs continues to spread inexorably.”

Jan 17 World Economic Forum 2018 Global Risks Report, section on AMR.”

Source: CIDRAP


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