News Release: A new initiative to take on the antibiotic innovation challenge launches
As the world still suffers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with the global death toll surpassing 500,000 deaths we are also challenged to think about the 700,000 patients that die each and every year due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
AMR threatens decades of medical progress as existing antibiotics become less effective to these resistant bacteria and its long term economic cost is predicted to be even bigger than that of COVID-19. Whilst COVID-19 caught us all ill prepared, AMR is something that is predictable as it is a widely recognised global health crisis. Governments and health experts have highlighted the need to tackle this public health crisis for years but so far no action has followed the talk.
The AMR Action Fund, a new initiative launched on 9 July wants to break this gridlock and respond to this clear need. 23 leading pharmaceutical companies from the US, Europe and Japan launched the initiative and sent a clear message of the need and urgency of tackling the threat of AMR. The initiative aims to create a viable innovation ecosystem for antibiotic research and bring two to four innovative new antibiotics to the world by the end of the decade.
Speaking on the occasion, Kawaldip Sehmi, Chief Executive Officer of IAPO said: 'We at the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations strive to drive progress for healthcare systems that are designed, organised and practised with the patient at the centre of treatment solutions. During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the many ways in which the lack of readiness and resources has hindered patient outcomes. Therefore, we are proud to see the launch of the new initiative to take on the antibiotic innovation challenge. We look forward to continuously working with other advocacy groups to prioritize the safety of patients by making sure the threat of antimicrobial resistance is managed as well as possible in the future.'