Challenges to Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance Economic and Policy Responses
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a biological mechanism whereby a micro-organism evolves over time to develop the ability to become resistant to antimicrobial therapies such as antibiotics. The drivers of and potential solutions to AMR are complex, often spanning multiple sectors. The internationally recognised response to AMR advocates for a ‘One Health’ approach, which requires policies to be developed and implemented across human, animal, and environmental health. To date, misaligned economic incentives have slowed the development of novel antimicrobials and limited efforts to reduce antimicrobial usage. However, the research which underpins the variety of policy options to tackle AMR is rapidly evolving across multiple disciplines such as human medicine, veterinary medicine, agricultural sciences, epidemiology, economics, sociology and psychology. By bringing together in one place the latest evidence and analysing the different facets of the complex problem of tackling AMR, this book offers an accessible summary for policy-makers, academics and students on the big questions around AMR policy.
‘Challenges in Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance: Economic and Policy Responses is a timely publication for policy-makers working in the human, animal and environmental health sectors impacted by the emergence of AMR. Alongside climate change, AMR is one of the most pressing issues of our time. It requires a level of co-operation between countries and sectors, and an urgency that we are unaccustomed to. Every year thousands of patients in Belgium contract hospital infections. Our capacity to treat those infections using antibiotics, which help saving lives, is being undermined by the increasing presence of drug-resistant bacteria. We have taken several measures to better manage the use of antibiotics and promote infection control as part of a One Health approach. More action is needed and, crucially, this book synthesises the most recent evidence on essential policies to tackle AMR. I hope this book will help to mobilise resources across sectors and across countries to halt this significant threat to public health. The progress we have achieved over many decades is in jeopardy. This book is a clear call to action.’ Maggie De Block, Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health, and Asylum Policy and Migration, Belgium