United Kingdom launches 5-year antimicrobial resistance action plan

British pounds and drugs

Doctors told to cut level of antibiotics they prescribe by 15%

The Government has taken action, and the use of antibiotics across the NHS and on livestock is falling.

Under a new NHS strategy, drug companies will also be paid millions to develop antibiotics that will be rarely used, to combat deadly superbugs that have grown resistant to existing drugs.

"This UK pilot project will be the world's first delinked pull incentive for antibiotics", Outterson told CIDRAP News. "It is vital that we tackle the spread of drug-resistant infections before routine operations and minor illnesses become life-threatening", UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in response to the plan, in a statement released Thursday.

'This was the human condition until nearly a century ago. I don't want it to be the future for my children - yet it may be unless we act'.

Almost half a million people developed multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in 2016.

He will also unveil a target to cut the number of resistant infections and to reduce the use of antibiotics in humans even further.

One part of the plan is to use diagnostics to inform clinicians on when patients require an antibiotic. But the number of drug-resistant bloodstream infections have increased by 35% from 2013 to 2017.

"Sore throats, for example, are usually caused by viral infections that antibiotics will not help, but they are also usually self-limiting and will get better on their own in a few days with the help of basic over-the-counter pain relief, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen".

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Antibiotics are used to prevent bacterial infections related to a range of medical problems and procedures, such as surgery, but overusing them can lead to the bacteria becoming resistant.

The action plan has been hailed as a "critical step" in the fight against AMR.

Dr Peter Jackson, executive director of The AMR Centre, said: "Today's announcement by the UK Government on the launch of a trial to evaluate a new way for the National Health Service (NHS) to pay for antibiotics is the critical step that the world has been waiting for, and is very welcome for AMR researchers".

"At a time when the cost of drug discovery is rising across the board, particularly in the exciting area of biologics, which is generating drugs that are more targeted and effective, pharmaceutical companies have struggled to allocate the funding needed to address the growing problem of AMR".

"The world needs new safe and effective drugs to treat these unsafe pathogens: but we also need to control their use so that new resistance does not appear".

The amount of antibiotics prescribed to patients must be reduced by a 'further 15%', the Government announced today.

She welcomed the idea behind the drug payment formula adding: "Anything which encourages research into new antibiotics is necessary but I think [the potential success of the proposal] will depend on the NICE criteria and how it defines "health". A survey, reported in the British Medical Journal in 2014, identified that more than half of Global Positioning System felt pressurised by patients to prescribe antibiotics, and 44% admitted having done so to get the patient to leave the clinic. Everybody can play a part in only using antibiotics when they're really ill.

"This is one the more alarming examples of how Brexit could potentially pose a massive threat to public health and the Government must act now to prevent this from becoming a reality".

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