Friday 13 September 2013

Antimicrobial strategy 2013- 2018

The British government has unveiled a five-year antimicrobial strategy. This forms part of a multi-pronged global approach to address the growing spread of antimicrobial resistance.

The objective is to find more efficient means to develop new antimicrobials. While resistance to existing antibiotics is snowballing, the stream of antibiotics coming through R&D pipelines is drying up fast; a 75% drop in the number of systemic antibacterials approved by US regulators was seen between 1983 and 2007, with a further drop observed in subsequent years.

The five-year antimicrobial resistance strategy outlines that steps are being taken to:

Improve how we prevent and manage infections in people and in animals; including through better hygiene and monitoring of bacteria in medical and community settings, and through better farming practices.

Improve education and training around the prescribing of antibiotics to reduce inappropriate usage and make sure patients get the right antibiotics, at the right time and for the right duration.

Collect better data on the resistance of bugs so we can track them more effectively, find the most resistant bacteria and step in earlier where there is resistance to antibiotics.

Provide funding of up to £4million to set up a new National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit which will focus on AMR and healthcare associated infections. In recognition of the importance of quick action, the NIHR is also running a themed research call to encourage AMR research across a range of areas.

Explore ways to encourage the development of new antibiotics, rapid diagnostics and other treatments by working with industry and across Government.

One part of the strategy is work with commercial pharma to develop new antimicrobials for the market. A report by Office of Health Economics suggests considering the use of incentives such advance market commitments, priority review vouchers, patent extensions, and direct R&D funding to help fuel activity in the area.

For more details, see: UK antimicrobial

Posted by Tim Sandle

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