31st March 2021

The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) welcomes the news that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has joined more than 20 international leaders in calling for a settlement that will help the world prepare for future pandemics, and is keen to ensure that, as a ‘slow-motion catastrophe’, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is now made a top priority on the global health security agenda.

AMR is currently responsible for at least 700,000 deaths a year around the world, which could rise to more than 10 million people a year by 2050 if left unchecked.

As representatives of one of the world’s most influential networks of infection specialists, BSAC has long advocated for international co-operation on tackling infectious diseases, the importance of which has been brought into sharp focus by the current pandemic.

Last September, the Daily Telegraph published an open letter signed by BSAC President, Professor Philip Howard OBE, supporting the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antibiotics’ call for the UK Prime Minister to appoint a Cabinet Minister with the sole responsibility of addressing drug-resistant infections and pandemic prevention and preparedness.

BSAC hopes that a treaty will become the means by which each nation can dedicate, as a matter of urgency, more leadership, visibility, and resources, to neutralise the growing threat of drug-resistant infections.

As such, BSAC believes that the upcoming G7 and G20 meetings would be a perfect time for the wider AMR community to consider how any high-level political agreement might lead to practical outcomes that support every national action plan on AMR.


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