New Index Ranking 11 Countries’ Ability to Tackle Rising Threat of Resistance to Antimicrobials Shows Need for Urgent Action

The 2021 AMR Preparedness Index assesses how well national governments are fulfilling their high-level commitments to address the accelerating crisis in antimicrobial resistance

New York, NEW YORK and Washington, DC (June 23, 2021) – Today the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) launched the first-ever global AMR Preparedness Index, a first-of-its-kind evaluation of how the governments of the 11 largest global economies are living up to their commitments to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Released amid increasing recognition of the threat posed by the “silent pandemic” of antimicrobial resistance at the highest levels of government, most recently at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, the report identifies a broad failure to match public promises with the concrete actions needed to avert the growing crisis. The index assessed the 11 largest global economiesBrazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). The report also offers case studies from Australia, Kenya, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Sweden. The UK and US topped the Index list.

“Increasing resistance to life-saving antimicrobials, together with our broken innovation pipeline, threatens to erode the very foundation of modern medicine and, with it, erase one of the principal achievements of the 20th century – the miracle of human longevity,” said Michael Hodin, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging. “As the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) Decade of Healthy Ageing brings greater attention and energy to our remarkable demographic achievement and the COVID-19 experience make clear the compounded risk to older adults from infectious disease, we must fully acknowledge the threat that AMR poses to the very prospect of healthy and active aging. Without true action to effectively address AMR, tens of millions of lives – both young and old – will be cut short, and so many others will be diminished as a result of care foregone over concerns about now untreatable infection,” said Hodin.

The 2021 AMR Preparedness Index is a tool to support evidence-based decision making and help avert this urgent public health crisis. It assesses countries across seven categories identified by experts as critical to successfully addressing AMR, highlighting best practices, identifying priority areas for government action, and offering a framework for countries and stakeholders to hold themselves accountable and benchmark progress on AMR.

An estimated 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections and the lack of novel antimicrobials to treat them. With rising resistance to our existing drugs, routine medical care – ranging from outpatient chemotherapy for cancer, to a knee replacement to even a root canal – increasingly places us at risk of a debilitating or life-threatening infection.  If unaddressed, the continued rise of AMR is expected to lead to as many as 10 million deaths per year, disability and lower quality of life for millions more, and $100 trillion in lost GDP by 2050.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made painfully clear to all the far-reaching impact of untreatable infectious diseases across societies and economies,” said IDSA President Dr. Barbara Alexander. “As we enter the next stage of the pandemic and with global momentum for AMR action building among G7 countries – in the UK with the launch of the subscription pilot, and most recently, with the reintroduction of the PASTEUR Act in the US Congress – the 2021 AMR Preparedness Indexcomes at a pivotal moment. We are pleased to partner with the Global Coalition on Aging to create this vital tool that will help governments around the world reinforce their words with actions,” said Dr. Alexander.

The 2021 AMR Preparedness Index assigns scores to each of the 11 countries across seven categories as guidance for needed and achievable policy action. The analysis includes key findings and highlights critical actions that governments should immediately prioritize to fulfill their commitments on AMR. Drug resistance is borderless, and all countries must lead with concerted action within their borders to slow the growth of resistance in their hospitals and waterways, and to foster the ability for innovations to reach patients in need. Of those evaluated in the Index, the UK and the US can be seen as examples, scoring highest in the evaluation.

Critical opportunities for government action identified in the Index include to:

  • Strengthen and fully implement national AMR strategies
  • Raise awareness of AMR and its consequences, while targeting prevention opportunities
  • Bolster surveillance and leverage data across AMR efforts
  • Enable a restructured antimicrobial marketplace to stimulate innovation
  • Promote responsible and appropriate use of antibiotics
  • Enable reliable and consistent access to needed and novel antimicrobials
  • More effectively integrate the One Health approach, including environmental considerations arising from human, veterinary, and agricultural use of antibiotics, into national strategies
  • Better engage with other governments, third-party organizations, and advocacy groups

The insights provided by the 2021 AMR Preparedness Index were the result of over one thousand hours of data collection and evaluation of existing research gathered from global authorities, including the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP); the Global AMR R&D Hub; and the WHO, as well as reports from national governments, nonprofits, and academia. The findings were then supplemented and validated by interviews and surveys with global key opinion leaders and subject matter experts (including scientists, advocates, researchers, clinicians, business leaders, and policymakers). The Index was also reviewed by a preeminent and global third-party Advisory Council and experts from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Featured during today’s launch of the Index are:

  • Anand Anandkumar, Founder and CEO, Bugworks Research, India
  • James Anderson, Executive Director, Global Health, IFPMA
  • Christine Årdal, Co-Lead, Research and Innovation, EU-JAMRAI
  • Neil J. Clancy, Chief, Infectious Diseases, VA Pittsburgh Health Care System; Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and AMR Committee, Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • Michael W. Hodin, CEO, Global Coalition on Aging
  • Norio Ohmagari, Director, Department of Infectious Diseases, National Center for Global Health and Medicine Hospital, Japan
  • Susan Wile Schwarz, Director of Communications, Global Coalition on Aging
  • Tiemo Wölken, Member of European Parliament, Germany

The development of the 2021 AMR Preparedness Index was sponsored by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA).

About the Infectious Diseases Society of America:

IDSA is a leader on issues of importance to ID professionals, including education and training, policy and advocacy, setting guidelines for patient care, and developing resources for clinical practice. It remains at the forefront of global health issues such as COVID-19, antimicrobial resistance and HIV/AIDS. Housed within IDSA is the HIV Medicine Association, (HIVMA) which represents medical providers and researchers working on the front lines of HIV. More than 12,000 IDSA and HIVMA members work across the United States and in nearly 100 other countries on six different continents.  For more information visit www.idsociety.org. Follow IDSA on  Facebook and Twitter.

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