2016 ‘Most Important Year For Antimicrobial Resistance In Our Lifetime’ – WHO Official 23/05/2016 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This year is profoundly important in humanity’s future ability to stave off resistance to antibiotics and other medicines, a top World Health Organization official said on the eve of this week’s annual World Health Assembly. “This may be the most important year for AMR [antimicrobial resistance] that we’ve had in our lifetime,” Keiji Fukuda, WHO assistant director-general and special representative for antimicrobial resistance, told a pre-WHA gathering at the Graduate Institute yesterday. “This is one of the issues that can be seen as a fundamental social threat,” he said, referencing climate change as another example. “We are talking health, but we are also talking beyond health.” While the AMR issue is not up for a decision by this week’s WHA (running from 23-28 May), there will be discussions among member states and stakeholders. “This Assembly is a way to address the issues,” he said. Fukuda said two papers on the issue are being presented this week, and are available, but did not provide specifics. Details will be added here as soon as they are known. [Update:] One paper may be a new report [pdf] on antimicrobial resistance issued this month that sets out the United Kingdom Review on Antimicrobial Resistance’s final recommendations to tackle AMR in a global way. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance was chaired by Jim O’Neill, international economist, and was sponsored by the UK government and the Wellcome Trust. “This is one of those issues that is not going to get better unless the right level of attention is brought to bear and is sustained over time,” he said. The issue is entering the highest profile spotlight this year as there will be a High-Level Meeting at the heads of state level at next September’s annual United Nations General Assembly. In addition, Fukuda said this issue is different from many others in that it will touch each person directly. Everyone will have family members, friends or themselves they are concerned about. “This is an issue that every single person will be worried about,” he said. The scientific issue is that around the world, many infectious microbes are becoming resistance to medicines that we have. The most threatening are the bacterial so can refer to it as antibiotic resistance, but there are also concerns about viral infections, he said. The problem with AMR is that consumers “don’t use these medicines very well,” said Fukuda. Overuse or incorrect use lead to bacteria developing resistance, and once they are resistant to all available antibiotics, anyone who gets infected will be out of treatment options until the world comes up with a next generation of medicines [sentence clarified]. “It’s clear there a huge number of issues in AMR,” Fukuda told Intellectual Property Watch afterward. The question is how they are going to be put together. This will be led by the UN in New York, as it will consider a high-level political declaration next September, only the third in its history related to public health (first two were on HIV/AIDS and non-communicable diseases). Fukuda mentioned WHO’s efforts to work with other key agencies, naming the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in Paris, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. On research and development, Fukuda said it is too early to analyse the intellectual property rights issues, but that broadly, the issue is how to keep up a level of R&D, and what is going to sustain it over the decades to come. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."2016 ‘Most Important Year For Antimicrobial Resistance In Our Lifetime’ – WHO Official" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.