Past Event

Tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Pathological microbes are increasingly resistant to antimicrobial treatments. The resulting health crisis is one of the greatest challenges facing society. At this event, Jim O'Neill will present the Independent Review on Antimicrobial Resistance and a panel will discuss how to tackle drug resistance.

Date: July 14, 2016, 12:30 pm Topic: Digital economy and innovation

Summary

See below for video and presentation.

The medical community has identified antimicrobial resistance as a major issue for human beings. In fact, drug resistance poses a threat to our future development and prosperity, as well as to our health. According to recent studies, the number of deaths attributable to AMR in 2050 could equal 10 million. The figure is alarming, making the estimated number of AMR deaths larger than the amount of victims attributable to cancer (8.2 million in 2050).

Because of its relevance, the AMR must also be treated as an economic issue, and the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance commissioned by the UK government in 2014 is playing a key role for this purpose. A ten-point plan has been developed in the Review for tackling AMR, with public awareness being on top of the list, since the problem is ignored in our society. In order to fight the issue, information campaigns should be carried out, as most people appear to have no clue of what antimicrobial resistance is and why it represents a huge threat. A rise in public awareness towards antimicrobial resistance would also bring results, if people proactively react to it. In fact, a way to reduce the impact of the problem is increasing sanitation and hygiene, which could be done by individuals and constitutes the most effective way of facing the issue.

The plan to tackle AMR suggests to stop using antibiotics in agriculture, environment and food processing. To this extent, more transparency from food producers and retailers and in the whole agricultural sector is needed. In general, our society has to increase surveillance on how antibiotics are used in these fields as well as in medicine. The reduction in use and prescriptions of antibiotics would limit the evolution of bacteria. Rapid and efficient diagnostics could also help: sometimes antibiotics are not useful in medical treatments, and the abuse in prescriptions can only worsen the issue. Antibiotics should only be prescribed if a diagnostic technique is used to prove to the necessity of their use. As an alternative, the medical community should boost the role of vaccines, which would partly reduce the use of antibiotics.

On the research side, new drugs should be developed, both to treat patients with pharmaceutical products other than antibiotics and to tackle antimicrobial resistance directly. However, this also requires an increase in investments in research and global innovation funding: funds from a multiplicity of international stakeholders should be allocated and spent on research in a coordinated and strategic way. It is important to emphasize that action to tackle AMR should be conducted on a global basis, and support to achieve international agreements on what has to be done is needed.

Just committing resources, however, does not lead to the solution of the problem itself. Efforts from policy makers can play a central role. The scarce attention of policy makers to date regarding AMR can be attributed to the low level of information and a missing economic quantification of the problem, both of which would increase the awareness of policy-makers towards it. Moreover, the European Commission also needs directives to clarify which roles it could play as a stakeholder and policy-maker and how it can act in order to influence global action.

As a final remark, we should keep in mind that if we are able, as a global society, to build up an effective and sustainable model for funding research, the issue of AMR can be handled and its impact reduced.

Event notes by Domenico Favoino, Research Assistant

VIDEO RECORDING


Event Materials

The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance: global solutions to drug-resistant infections | Presentation by Jim O’Neill

 

Speakers

James Anderson

Head of Corporate Government Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline

Sally Davies

Chief Medical Officer for England

Charles Knirsch

Vice President, Therapeutic Vaccines Program Lead, Vaccine Clinical Research and Development, Pfizer

Jim O‘Neill

Xavier Prats Monné

Director General, European Commission, DG SANTE

Karen E. Wilson

Former Non-resident Fellow

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Matilda Sevon

[email protected]

Read article
 

Blog Post

Inclusive growth

Concentration of artificial intelligence and other frontier IT skills

Online job postings indicate that demand from top tech firms for frontier IT skills is about double their demand for other IT skills. This could indicate increasing concentration of skills in a few firms, with other firms left behind.

By: Wang Jin, Georgios Petropoulos and Sebastian Steffen Topic: Digital economy and innovation, Inclusive growth Date: October 21, 2021
Read about event
 

Past Event

Past Event

Monetary policy in the time of climate change

How does climate change influence monetary policy in the eurozone? What potential monetary policy measures should be taken up to address climate risks?

Speakers: Cornelia Holthausen, Jean Pisani-Ferry and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Green economy, Macroeconomic policy Date: October 20, 2021
Read about event
 

Past Event

Past Event

A hybrid future of work

Addressing employers’ and employees’ challenges.

Speakers: Julie Brophy, Joost Korte, Laura Nurski, Renske Paans and Alex A. Saliba Topic: Digital economy and innovation, Inclusive growth Date: October 19, 2021
Read about event
 

Upcoming Event

Nov
2
14:00

Microchips and Europe's strategic autonomy

Per microchips ad strategic autonomy.

Speakers: Piotr Arak, Alicia García-Herrero, Jay Lewis and Niclas Poitiers Topic: Digital economy and innovation, European governance
Read article More by this author
 

Blog Post

European governance

Pandemic prevention: avoiding another cycle of ‘panic and neglect’

Agreement is needed at international level on mechanisms to ensure better preparedness for the next pandemic.

By: Anne Bucher Topic: European governance, Global economy and trade Date: October 7, 2021
Read about event More on this topic
 

Past Event

Past Event

What is the link between biodiversity loss and financial instability?

Biodiversity loss impacts financial stability. How big is the risk of biodiversity loss for financial institutions?

Speakers: Sylvie Goulard, Romain Svartzman, Guntram B. Wolff and Michael Wilkins Topic: Banking and capital markets Date: October 5, 2021
Read article Download PDF More by this author
 

Policy Contribution

Inclusive growth

Do robots dream of paying taxes?

The digital transition should be managed – and taxed – alongside other societal transitions, but any tax on companies that replace employees with automated systems should be targeted and carefully designed to not stifle innovation.

By: Rebecca Christie Topic: Digital economy and innovation, Inclusive growth Date: October 5, 2021
Read article More on this topic
 

Opinion

Can climate change be tackled without ditching economic growth?

The ultimate answer to the question on whether climate change can be tackled without ditching economic growth depends on our willingness to step up climate action massively.

By: Klaas Lenaerts, Simone Tagliapietra and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Green economy Date: September 27, 2021
Read article More on this topic
 

Blog Post

German elections: seizing the moral and economic opportunity of global health security

The new German government should play its part in global health security and preparedness.

By: Amanda Glassman and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global economy and trade Date: September 24, 2021
Read about event More on this topic
 

Past Event

Past Event

How to strike the right balance between the three pillars of the pension system?

In this event panelists will discuss the future of European pension schemes.

Speakers: Elsa Fornero, Svend E. Hougaard Jensen and Suvi-Anne Siimes Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: September 23, 2021
Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Opinion

Europe doesn’t need a ‘Mega-Fab’

Europe should defend its existing dominance in equipment manufacturing for semiconductors and invest in chip design instead of luring high-end fabrication to its shores.

By: Niclas Poitiers Topic: Global economy and trade Date: September 22, 2021
Read article More on this topic
 

External Publication

Platform mergers and antitrust

Should internet era merger policy differ from industrial era merger policy? This paper was published in Industrial and Corporate Change by Oxford University Press.

By: Geoffrey Parker, Georgios Petropoulos and Marshall Van Alstyne Topic: Digital economy and innovation Date: September 16, 2021
Load more posts