Tags: superbug | deaths | scourge | millions | 2050

Superbug Deaths: Resistant Scourge Could Be Killing 10M Yearly by 2050

Superbug Deaths: Resistant Scourge Could Be Killing 10M Yearly by 2050

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria strain in a petri dish. (REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

Friday, 20 May 2016 06:14 AM

Ten million people could die every year from 2050 onward unless sweeping global changes are made to slow an increasing resistance to antibiotics that has allowed the emergence of killer "superbugs," said Agence Presse-France in reporting on a new study out on Thursday.

A million people have already died of antimicrobial resistance just since the study's review started in mid-2014.

Commissioned by the British government, the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance set out steps to fight the emergence of superbugs created as infections become immune to existing drugs, allowing minor injuries and common infections to become deadly.

"It needs to be seen as the economic and security threat that it is, and be at the forefront of the minds of heads of state," said Jim O'Neill, the economist who led the review.

The overuse of antibiotics should be reduced by cutting the vast quantities of medicines given to farm animals, improving diagnoses to stop unnecessary prescriptions, and a global public awareness campaign, the study urged.

At the same time, researchers should be encouraged to develop new antibiotics through a global fund for research and rewards for those who manage to develop new drugs.

The cost of the measures was estimated to be $40 billion over 10 years – far less than the cost if the growing problem is not addressed.

"There is no excuse for inaction given what we know about the impact of rising drug resistance," the paper said.

Governments will face the cost "sooner or later," it added.

"They can either do so proactively by taking action now and pay less for better outcomes, or remain unprepared and end up spending much more taxpayer money on far worse outcomes further down the line."

The paper argued that the response could be funded through countries' health budgets or through taxes on pharmaceutical companies that do not invest on antibiotic research.

O'Neill, an economist known for coining the term "BRIC" to describe large emerging countries and who was asked by the British government to chair the review, noted that one 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has already warned antimicrobial resistance may result in "a return to the pre-antibiotic era," when millions of people died in pandemics before drugs were discovered that could treat them.

© AFP 2020

   
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Ten million people could die every year from 2050 onward unless sweeping global changes are made to slow an increasing resistance to antibiotics that has allowed the emergence of killer "superbugs."
superbug, deaths, scourge, millions, 2050
373
2016-14-20
Friday, 20 May 2016 06:14 AM
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