O’Neill and co-authors, 2016

Following 19 months of consultation, this report sets out the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance’s final recommendations to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) globally, as commissioned by sponsors, the UK Government and the Wellcome Trust.

The authors highlight the magnitude of the AMR problem, estimating that by 2050, 10 million lives a year and a cumulative 100 trillion USD of economic output are at risk due to the rise of drug-resistant
infections if proactive solutions are not implemented now. They state that antibiotics underpin modern medicine and if they lose their effectiveness, key medical procedures (such as gut surgery, caesarean sections, joint replacements, and treatments that depress the immune system, such as chemotherapy for cancer) could become too dangerous to perform.

One key recommendation is the promotion of new, rapid diagnostics to cut unnecessary use of antibiotics to combat the spread of AMR. The authors explain how rapid diagnostics could transform use of antimicrobials by reducing unnecessary use, slowing AMR and making existing drugs last longer. The authors advocate for prescription of antibiotics informed by data and testing technology wherever

Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, comments that:

“Today, antibiotics are rarely prescribed based on a definitive diagnosis. Diagnostic tests can show whether or not an antibiotic is actually needed, and which one. Having rapid, low-cost, and readily available diagnostics is an essential part of the solution to this urgent problem.” 

The full publication can be accessed here.

COL-08888 10/2021

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