AMR: A game changer on the road to a better Research System?
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the defining health challenges of this century. If we do not address AMR, the death toll will rise from 700.000 AMR related deaths per annum today to a staggering 10 million by 2050. Very little has been done to research new antibiotics and to make existing antibiotics available at affordable prices to those who need them.
The lack of new antibiotics is just one of the many symptoms of a failing biomedical Research and Development (R&D) system. The current, profit-driven R&D system has also failed to deliver drugs for neglected diseases and pediatric formulations. It is consistently producing unaffordable drugs while incentivizing investment into non-therapeutically advantageous drugs. To address this failure, the recent United Nations High Level Panel on Access to Medicines recommended the negotiation of a global convention on R&D, aligning with UAEM and many other organizations who have been working to advance discussions for a global R&D agreement.1 Such an agreement would cover all aspects of R&D; ensuring sustainable funding, priority setting and coordination of public needs-driven R&D under the principles of effectiveness, efficiency, delinkage, equity and affordability.
Antimicrobial resistance requires alternative models of R&D. Alternatives which prioritize health needs, not profits.2 December 2050 could mark the passing of the 10 millionth annual life due to resistant infections. Or it could be the month in which we look back and see antimicrobial resistance as the game changing trigger that made us start making medicines for people, not for profit.
1 Through our Global Campaign for Alternative R&D, launched in Fall of 2015, UAEM continues to work with allies to advocate for member state support of an R&D Agreement and discussion of such an agreement at the World Health Organization.
To read the full UAEM position paper on AMR and R&D click here.
WATCH: UAEM’s short video about “How to fix the Research and Development system”