From the superbug scare in Pennsylvania last month to the UK’s recently released Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, slowing the rate at which infections become resistant to antibiotics is rising up the list of global health priorities—and rightfully so. The Review estimates that deaths from antimicrobial resistance (AMR) could reach 10 million people a year by 2050 if we don’t reduce the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials, including antibiotics, and that the economic damage could add up to a staggering $100 trillion by 2050.
CGD Policy Blogs
Imagine if a small cut could evolve into a lengthy hospital stay, or worse; if doctors refused to perform surgery or transplants due to prohibitive risk during recovery; and if our collective gains against the world’s biggest infectious killers—HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections, pneumonia, and more—slowed, stalled, and reversed. These nightmare scenarios could become the new global reality if common pathogens evolve to withstand and survive treatment with antimicrobial drugs, a phenomenon known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR).