The Government has today published its response to the O’Neill Review on AMR, as well as its second annual progress report on the UK’s 5 year AMR strategy.
In its response to the Review on AMR, diagnostics and the key role they must play in the fight against AMR are referenced throughout. Key paragraphs for the in vitro diagnostics industry are shown below:
3.4 Antibiotics are frequently prescribed “just in case” because we lack the diagnostics that could reliably and quickly indicate whether someone has a virus or a bacterial infection. Lord O’Neill has set a major challenge in his Review: not only to revitalise the market to incentivise development of new diagnostics, matching the approach for new drugs, but also to ensure that tests or epidemiological data are used to support clinical decision making.
3.5 We welcome this challenge. We will work with international partners and other relevant groups and funders, such as the research councils, to develop plans for incentivising diagnostic development, and for stimulating the behaviour change needed to realise the benefits for patients.
3.6 In England our vision for diagnostics is to have patient-centred, cost effective diagnostics that help tackle AMR by ensuring the right test is available at the right place at the right time. We have set up an expert group to identify how to achieve that vision and it will work to communicate this health system need to industry, helping them engage with the National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure to ensure the rapid take up of new technologies to deliver high quality diagnostics in the NHS.
Please find the full press release below, including links to both the full Government response to the Review on AMR and its second annual progress report on the UK’s 5 year AMR strategy.
Also this week:
- The Department of Health has announced that £816 million will be invested inhealth research, including AMR. The funding has been awarded to 20 NHS and university partnerships across England through the NIHR.
- Innovate UK are delivering a competition on behalf of the Department of Health to invest up to £4 million to support the UK’s capability to conduct research into AMR. The aim is to develop new products and services that will reduce the impact of drug resistant pathogens, slow down the emergence of new ones, and produce new products and services including drugs, vaccines and diagnostics. The competition brief can be found here.
Government’s progress in preventing drug resistant infections
The UK continues to work towards preventing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by investing in new diagnosis tests and vaccines.
Lord O’Neill’s review, ‘Tackling drug-resistant infections globally’ made 10 recommendations on how to best prevent the challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The recommendations include raising awareness of AMR globally, reducing the use of antibiotics in animals and improving hygiene to help stop the spread of infection.
The UK government response accepts these recommendations as part of its ongoing AMR strategy. The government also published its second annual progress report on the UK’s 5 year AMR strategy.
Lord O’Neil’s report also highlights the consequences if we do not act to prevent the growing crisis - predicting 10 million deaths a year by 2050, an effect on the world economy of $100 trillion, and the potential end of modern medicine as we know it.
Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies said:
“Action on antimicrobial infections must be taken internationally. Jim O’Neill’s review has made challenging recommendations for the world and I’m delighted that the UK is helping to lead the fight on this.
“No country can afford to be complacent about the catastrophic risk we are facing. If drugs like antibiotics no longer fight infections, 10 million lives could be lost globally every year by 2050.”
The UK is already leading on a range of measures aimed at preventing AMR across the globe. These include:
- investing £265 million to strengthen the surveillance of antimicrobial use and resistance, which is already helping 11 countries worldwide and will be expanding in 2017
- using a £50 million investment to start a global AMR innovation fund to develop new antimicrobials along with diagnostic tools and vaccines
- investing in the development of quick diagnosis tests, making sure people are given the right drugs for the right infection at the right time, the new tests, once proven to be effective, will available in both the UK and internationally
- almost halving the British meat poultry industry’s use of antibiotics between 2012 and 2015 through improvements in training, stewardship, and disease control
Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said:
“Antimicrobial resistance is a critical global challenge and our commitment to reduce antibiotic use in livestock, in line with Lord O’Neill’s recommendations, is an important part of the government’s One Health strategy to tackle it.
“We are already making good progress in monitoring and reducing the use of antibiotics across the farming industry - today’s commitments mean we will remain at the forefront of the global effort to tackle this international challenge.”
You can read more about AMR and the government’s 5 year strategy.