On our 21st birthday, our team at HealthCare21 covered the significant advancements within the healthcare sector that occurred over the past 21 years. We will now be posting 21 developments that will be shaping the future of medical communications and healthcare delivery.
19.An estimated 700,000 people die each year because of the growing number of potentially deadly infectious pathogens that have developed new resistance mechanisms, including those that cause tuberculosis, HIV, malaria and staph infections, and which are continuing to emerge and spread globally.
A growing list of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, septicaemia, gonorrhoea and foodborne diseases – are becoming harder, sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective. When first-line antibiotics fail to treat such infections, more expensive medications are considered. Increased duration of illness and treatment, often in hospitals, considerably increases healthcare costs and economic burden on families and societies.
Antibiotic resistance is putting the achievements of modern medicine at risk. Organ transplantations, chemotherapy and invasive surgeries are become much more dangerous without effective antibiotics to prevent and treat infections.
Tackling antibiotic resistance is a high priority for the World Health Organization (WHO). A global action plan on antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, was endorsed at the World Health Assembly in May 2015. The global action plan aims to ensure prevention and treatment of infectious diseases with safe and effective medicines.
The ‘Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance’ has five strategic objectives:
1.To improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance
2.To strengthen surveillance and research
3.To reduce the incidence of infection
4.To optimise the use of antimicrobial medicines
5.To ensure sustainable investment in countering antimicrobial resistance.
In an unprecedented effort, over 100 companies and associations signed the Industry Declaration on AMR at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2016, followed by the adoption of a Roadmap outlining a common set of principles for global action that focuses on investing in R&D to meet public health needs, reducing the development of antimicrobial resistance, improving access to antibiotics, vaccines and diagnostics, and reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing. The AMR Industry Alliance launched its first Progress Report in January 2018, illustrating the commitment of the life sciences industry to tackle the public health threat of AMR.