United Kingdom launches 5-year antimicrobial resistance action plan

Health Secretary Matt Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock

"It's crucial that we continue to get this message out, so that we can carry on delivering safe, effective care to our patients both now and in the future".

Dr Peter Jackson, executive director of The AMR Centre, the public-private body that funds and co-ordinates research into new antibiotics and diagnostics, and is involved in projects with three pharma companies in the UK, Sweden and the U.S., said: "Today's announcement by the UK government on the launch of a trial to evaluate a new way for the National Health Service (NHS) to pay for antibiotics is the critical step that the world has been waiting for, and is very welcome for AMR researchers". Diagnostic tests for bacterial infections now take 48 hours to produce results, meaning there is a danger that infections are treat without the right information. "The impacts of unchecked antimicrobial resistance are wide-ranging and extremely costly, not only in financial terms, but also in terms of global health, food security, environmental wellbeing, and socio-economic development", it said.

"Some cases of tuberculosis and gonorrhoea are already resistant to antibiotics of last resort".

"The UK has taken a global lead by setting out a 20 year AMR vision explaining the steps we must take nationally and internationally to rise to this challenge".

"This UK pilot project will be the world's first delinked pull incentive for antibiotics", Outterson told CIDRAP News.

Theresa May commented: "It is vital that we tackle the spread of drug-resistant infections before routine operations and minor illnesses become life-threatening".

Under a new NHS strategy, drug companies will also be paid millions to develop antibiotics that will be rarely used, to combat deadly superbugs that have grown resistant to existing drugs.

"The increase in antibiotic resistance is a threat we can not afford to ignore".

"Low returns on investment in development means industry does not innovate enough and as a result, very few of the new drugs that are now in the pipeline are targeted towards priority infections".

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The model is part of the government's new national action plan on how it will fight against antimicrobial resistance by 2040.

I am proud of the work the United Kingdom has done to secure antimicrobial resistance on the global agenda.

The plans include a number of targets for improved antibiotic stewardship, such as cutting the number of human drug-resistant infections by 10% (5,000 infections) by 2025 and reducing the use of antibiotics in humans by 15%.

The government plans to change the way it funds drug companies to encourage them to develop new medicine, and Hancock said antibiotics will now only be used "when absolutely necessary".

In 2018, Public Health England reported the case of of a United Kingdom man infected with a multidrug-resistant form of gonorrhea.

The British Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock will say resistance needs to be treated as a global health emergency.

A lack of effective antibiotics could result in simple operations such as caesarean sections or hip replacements becoming too unsafe to perform.

It may also be recommended for a wound that has a high risk of becoming infection, such as an animal or human bite, or a cut that has come into contact with soil or faeces. Resistance occurs everywhere that bacteria are found: "in people, in animals and in the environment", Environment Secretary Michael Gove said in a statement.

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