Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms to evolve to resist antibiotics, leading to infections becoming increasingly untreatable.
AMR already claims as many as 33,000 lives in the EU every year, but this is set to drastically worsen, with AMR poised to become a bigger killer than cancer by 2050.
But despite the looming threat that AMR presents, research and development in this area has been blocked for many years thanks to a combination of an unpredictable market, lack of incentives and high associated costs.
This has led to the creation of a “toxic” cycle which needs to be broken, but the question is how this can be achieved.
In this Special Report, EURACTIV explores the ecosystem of AMR and concrete proposals for how this deadly threat can be tackled.
Investment in research and development, together with encouraging the innovative economic models is a way to fight this silent threat, Swedish centre-right MEP Jessica Polfjärd told EURACTIV in an interview.
A ‘Netflix-style’ subscription service, regularly paid from governments to the pharmaceutical industry, could help incentivise the creation of sorely-needed new antibiotics and break the “toxic” environment of antibiotic research and development, according to an expert.
COVID-19 pandemic has helped raise political awareness of health issues but the widespread misuse of antibiotics in COVID patient treatment is likely to result in increased antimicrobial resistance, health experts have warned.
EU policymakers are being urged to consider the full range of new incentive systems and pilot innovative approaches to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR), including Netflix-style subscription services and pull incentives.
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