According to the World Health Organization, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) represents one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity, with the latest research indicating almost 5 million deaths a year are directly attributable to drug resistance – more than either HIV/AIDS or malaria.
But it’s not only lives that AMR threatens. A report by The World Bank underscores the devastating economic damage that drug-resistant infections wreak on the global economy, with annual costs potentially rising to as much as those of the global financial crisis that started in 2008.
It is in this context that the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Pfizer have come together to establish an alliance to encourage cooperation between commerce and investment companies with a view to reducing the risk of AMR to both society and the financial sector.
The alliance, which is launching to coincide with this year’s annual World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, takes the form of an e-learning advisory network and focuses on negating the threat of AMR through antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes, while also addressing the profound impact Covid-19 has had on global approaches to pandemic prevention and preparedness.
The alliance will be hosted on, and promoted through, BSAC’s Global Antimicrobial Stewardship Partnership Hub (GASPH), which is a learning platform for education and training for the global workforce and civil society.
The tripartite agreement is part of a long-term strategy to bring together civil society and the private sector to boost leadership, skills and awareness in this field and embed AMR and pandemic preparedness in the risk agenda of global investors.