The coupled crises of rising rates of drug resistant infections and stagnating antibiotic innovation is especially perilous for Japan and other aging societies, says new report from the Global Coalition on Aging and Health and Global Policy Institute, released during Japan’s AMR Awareness Month.
Tokyo, JAPAN (November 18, 2021) – A new report released today by the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and the Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) raises the alert level on the coupled crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and a lack of antibiotic innovation. The GCOA-HGPI report, Taking Action for AMR Preparedness: Spurring Antibiotic Innovation for Healthy Ageing in Super-Ageing Japan, outlines the impact of AMR on older adults and the dire consequences for fiscal sustainability and economic growth for Japan and other aging societies while offering a roadmap for urgent action. The report is based on insights from a May roundtable hosted by the two organizations.
“AMR is at the top of serious global health threats,” said Michael W. Hodin, CEO, GCOA and moderator of the May roundtable. “It is finally becoming even more recognized as a critical priority as groups from the G7 to the WHO and OECD formally recognize and put forward calls to urgent action. As we noted at the roundtable, increasing drug resistance and the related crisis in antibiotic innovation are already claiming close to a million lives every year and projected to reach 10 million, shortly. Measures must be taken immediately,” Hodin said.
With far more old than young, and many in the population living to 100 years of age or more, super-aging Japan and other OECD countries are facing a stunning fiscal burden unless they can achieve healthy longevity. As agreed at the roundtable, AMR poses a particular threat to healthy aging, and with it, to fiscal sustainability.
“While AMR is a crisis for all society, older adults are at significant risk,” said Ryoji Noritake, CEO of HGPI and leader of the Japan AMR Alliance. “This fact makes access to novel antibiotics a crucial need for Japan, especially, where nearly 30% of our population is already today over 65, and 40% will be in the next years. If we want healthy longevity, we will need to focus on this AMR challenge even as we also support innovation for age-related NCDs,” said Noritake.
Based on the roundtable insights of Japanese and global experts in aging and infectious disease, the report lays out five key takeaways, offering a roadmap for action for Japan and other aging societies:
- Innovative policy structures that support antimicrobial innovation are being modeled in countries including the United Kingdom and the United States.
- AMR is an urgent issue for Japan in light of the impact that it is already having on Japan’s super-aging society.
- National action and global collaboration on AMR and antimicrobial innovation is essential. Countries must commit to AMR challenge themselves, though no single country can solve this problem by itself.
- There is a window of opportunity for Japan to recognize the important role of incentives for innovation in protecting the Japanese public from the impact of AMR.
- There are lessons learned from COVID-19 that could help to address the AMR crisis.
Click here to read the report in Japanese.