What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the AMR space into 2022?
We’ve been talking about AMR issues for quite a while and there is a risk that the energy and focus on AMR may start to wane. Hence one of our top challenges is keeping AMR in the spotlight and a priority for governments globally. We need governments around the world to take action and to implement their AMR National Action Plans, particularly those that address the economic issues. On a related note, we must do a better job raising public awareness of AMR. People are supportive of addressing AMR when they know what it is, but far too many people don’t even know what AMR stands for.
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you like to see occur in the coming year to further combat AMR?
I would like to see the PASTEUR legislation signed into law. PASTEUR would create a strong incentive for antibiotic innovation and would be such a game changer for AMR-focused antibiotics in the US. This legislation would also have knock-on benefits around the world.
What would you like to highlight about your work/your organization for this coming year?
Shionogi is collaborating with the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to implement a low- and middle- income countries (LMIC) access strategy. Antibiotic access in LMICs is not an easy issue to address, and people in LMICs experience a disproportionately high burden of drug resistant bacterial infections. These pathogens don’t need passports, so resistance that develops in a low-income country today can easily become a global problem tomorrow.
Do you have any predictions for the AMR space in 2022 and beyond? Any calls-to-action you’d like to highlight?
In the past, there have been few successful attempts to amplify the patient experience with AMR. With new efforts to bring those impacted by AMR together, I’d like to think that there will be a focus on getting the patient story out to policy makers and the general public. A recent publication highlighted that the death toll from AMR is much higher than previously thought. I hope that this information, coupled with greater visibility of those who have been impacted by AMR, will create an increased sense of urgency around the AMR problem and drive both public and policy maker awareness.
Reference: Global Burden of Bacterial Antimicrobial Resistance in 2019: A Systematic Analysis https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02724-0/fulltext
Any additional comments?
COVID-19 has delivered a world-wide wake-up call regarding the danger of infectious diseases. AMR is just as much of a concern and we need to carry forward the COVID energy to the AMR space.