The Union announced a series of commitments to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at a conference, in Berlin on 12 and 13 October 2017, organised by Wellcome in partnership with the UK, Ghanaian and Thai governments and the UN Foundation.
The conference supported the work of the Antimicrobial Resistance Inter-Agency Coordination Group (IACG) and was an opportunity for national governments and multilateral institutions to come together with the civil society, private and philanthropic sectors to focus on the most critical gaps in tackling the development and spread of drug-resistant infections, and to commit to concerted and tangible actions.
The IACG was set up by the United Nations (UN) following last year’s landmark UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AMR and Political Declaration. The group aims to help sustain and coordinate effective global action against drug-resistant infections.
Making a statement at the conference, The Union spoke specifically to tuberculosis (TB) with reference to the first descriptions of AMR, in 1948, being resistance involving TB treatment. More than 250,000 people died from drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in 2015. By 2050, DR-TB is expected to kill 2.5 million people annually—a quarter of AMR deaths—making TB “a cornerstone of the global AMR challenge.”
The Union welcomed DR-TB’s inclusion within the AMR agenda and at the meeting committed to:
- Providing technical and training support at national, regional and international levels to ensure MDR-TB patients receive the best possible care.
- Advocating for TB’s inclusion in AMR discussions, particularly regarding R&D, stewardship and surveillance, drawing on The Union’s nearly 100 years of experience supporting the development of national and global TB programmes.
- Working with the members of The Life Prize steering committee to develop and launch The Life Prize, an open collaborative research framework that promotes regimen development with stewardship, quality, accessibility and affordability concerns considered throughout the development pipeline.
- Advocating for R&D investment in new anti-infectives, particularly for tuberculosis, as part of the G20, BRICS summit and the 2018 UN High-Level meeting on TB.
Source: The Union