Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global strategic priority and sits within the UK Government’s National Risk Register. By 2050, AMR is predicted to cause 10 million deaths, more than cancer. In 2019 alone, there were an estimated 4.95 million deaths associated with bacterial AMR.
Although global pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) spend continues to increase year on year, research into antimicrobial drug discovery is not currently an attractive commercial investment. This has had two major consequences: an ongoing decline of human capital for R&D in this field, and a decline over the longer term in availability of therapeutically effective antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents.
Concerted and coordinated efforts are needed to translate high-level policy commitments into strategic actions for long-term funding and support for the R&D of new antimicrobials.