Thirteen global pharmaceutical firms including major Indian drugmakers Cipla and Wockhardt have joined hands in laying out a road map to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by 2020. The companies in a joint statement said that the roadmap follows the Industry Declaration signed in January 2016 at the World Economic Forum. The declaration was signed by more than 100 companies and trade associations.
Alliance include Cipla and Wockhardt
The alliance also include global majors Novartis, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and AstraZeneca. The group will work with independent experts to set new factory standards and review supply chains to ensure antibiotic waste does not enter waterways, where it can lead to the breeding of superbugs.
Will stick to four key commitments
According to the statement, the four key commitments to reduce antimicrobial resistance include improving access to current and future antibiotics, vaccines and diagnostics, ensuring antibiotics are used only by patients who need them and exploring new opportunities for open collaborations between industry and the public sector. "The companies support the establishment of a high-level coordinating mechanism to provide global leadership, mobilize resources, set goals, and measure progress towards them", the statement added.
Only together we can tackle antimicrobial resistance
Marc Sprenger, the Director, WHO Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat while hailing the decision said "In particular, the measures to reduce the environmental impact of the production of antibiotics, advance stewardship and minimise over-the- counter and non-prescription internet sales of antibiotics will be of great benefit. "I strongly encourage the collaboration between industry and governments, as it is only together that we can tackle antimicrobial resistance," he added. Jim O'Neill, Chairman of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance also hailed the latest commitments from major pharma firms and said "We will only overcome this challenge through effective collaboration between governments, NGOs and the private sector."
AMR has grown in recent years
In antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is a natural process bacteria and other microbes develop resistance to the commonly used drugs for infections treatment. Antimicrobials include antiparasitics, antifungals, antivirals and antibiotics (which act only on bacteria). Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928 the problem of drug-resistant bacteria has been a feature of medicine but it has grown in recent years with the emergence of infections such as MRSA, which are resistant to multiple drugs.