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Counting the cost of antimicrobial resistance

Counting the cost of antimicrobial resistance

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Antimicrobial resistance could reduce global GDP by up to 3.5% – a cumulative cost of $100 trillion – by 2050, Chancellor George Osborne has warned.

Osborne said that the latest evidence suggested that by 2050 10 million people a year could die globally as a result – which is more than currently die from cancer each year.

He warned that apart from the consequences for human health, there will be an ‘enormous economic cost’ too. He said that by 2050, antimicrobial resistance could reduce global GDP by up to 3.5 per cent – a cumulative cost of $100 trillion.

The Chancellor said the reimbursement models for antibiotics and diagnostics are ‘broken’ and call for a global overhaul.

He backed a proposal from Treasury minister Lord O’Neill and others to create ‘market entry rewards’; large lump sums paid to a pharmaceutical company, or set of companies, that successfully get a new antibiotic or diagnostic to market.

The Chancellor said: “We have to dramatically shift incentives for pharmaceutical companies and others to create a long-term solution to this problem, with new rewards, funded globally, that support the development of new antibiotics and ensure access to antibiotics in the developing world.

“To achieve a long-term solution we also need better rapid diagnostics that will cut the vast amounts of unnecessary antibiotic use," he added.

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